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Kenton City Schools continues to refine its floor plan for its new PreK-6 elementary building.
During a committee meeting Tuesday night, Superintendent Jennifer Penczarski said one of the projects has been to “work on squaring things up” on the four classroom pods which extend from the main building.
The pods are divided into PreK-kindergarten, grades 1-2, 3-4 and 5-6.
By squaring things, it is expected to reduce roofing costs, according to architects from Garmann Miller.
The new design creates more extended learning areas in each pod, accessible to all classrooms in the unit. In addition, special education classrooms have been shifted into the pods to be more integrated with the other students, Penczarski said.
Another change is the location of restrooms in the grades 3-4 and 5-6 pods. They are now located just outside the pods, which makes them accessible to people using the gymnasium or other school facilities after hours.
“We hope the building will become a focal point of the community,” she said.
There are now two students entrances to the building on either side of the administration area, but during the school day there will be just one entrance. Visitors will need to go through the administration area to get access to the school, she said.
District resident Ed Rogers, who teachers at Indian Lake High School, is concerned Kenton is just copying the school design at the Indian Lake elementary building.
Instead, he unveiled his own plans for what he said would be a straighter, cheaper design.
Penczarski said some of Rogers’ ideas have already been incorporated into the new floor plan. She also said designs of Reynoldsburg and Indian Lake schools have been taken into consideration in the Kenton design.
For instance, she said the Kenton building will have more natural light, similar to Reynoldsburg.
Penczarski added that Kenton must follow the design manual from the Ohio School Facilities Commission. “If we were the only persons making decisions it would be easier,” she said. But twice a month Kenton officials meet with all of their partners from the state to discuss the building design.
Also at the meeting, Matt Guggenbiller of Garmann Miller said the district can expect to save about $100,000 on a new design of its heating, cooling and ventilation system.
The plan is to go with a variable refrigerant flow system, but instead of a boiler and cooling tower, the system would be air cooled. The school would have more control over the ventilation so it is only used when classrooms or other areas of the building are in use.
Board members Tom Brim and Russ Blue said there is nothing new to report on access roads to the building. The district is awaiting completion of a traffic study of Silver Street, Maydoll Drive and Morningside Drive.
Brim said school officials met recently with city leaders, township trustees, the county engineer and Mark Doll, Regional Planning director, to discuss the Morningside extension to the school site.
While “they are looking at it a little stronger,” Brim said the city does not want to give up all of its $500,000 in Issue II money for Morningside.
Meanwhile, Crates Excavating is working on cleaning up the ditch on the school site off Township Road 114.
By TIM THOMAS