July 23, 2016

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Stimulus to help fund new Cloverleaf elementary

Cloverleaf’s new elementary school, seen in this architectural rendering, will have four wings and be more than 128,000 square feet.

Cloverleaf’s new elementary school, seen in this architectural rendering, will have four wings and be more than 128,000 square feet.

WESTFIELD TWP. — The Cloverleaf Local School District plans to build an elementary school by fall 2011 after qualifying last week for a federal stimulus loan to help fund the project.

Slated to be built by September 2011, the $25 million school will be funded in part by a $10 million loan from the federal government, part of the 2009 American Reinvestment and Recovery Act, and Medina County sales tax revenues, Superintendent Daryl Kubilus said.

Superintendent Daryl Kubilus

Superintendent Daryl Kubilus

In 2007, county voters approved a 0.5 percent sales tax increase to fund capital projects in school districts, such as constructing new schools and bus and textbook purchases.

The school district estimates $10 million in interest will be saved through the loan, Kubilus said.

“In essence, it is a government loan with zero or near zero percent interest, which will save us a considerable amount of money,” he said.

The elementary school will house pre-kindergarten students to fourth-graders, and will be located on land already owned by the district on the north side of Buffham Road and fronted on Friendsville Road.

Two of the districts’ other three elementary schools would be closed and the students consolidated into the new school, Kubilus said.

“The school board has yet to make a decision on which two of the three will close, but our plan would be to close two buildings,” he said.

At more than 128,000 square feet and a 1,200 student capacity, Kubilus said there will be room to grow at the school.

The school will have four wings that protrude to the front parking lot and attach to offices, a gymnasium, music room and “cafetorium.” High-efficiency windows will throughout the building will maximize the natural light.

Designing the school proved difficult at times, as the property lies on top of a high-pressure gas line that would have cost $1 million to remove, Kubilus said.

Another project would address renovations to the high school and middle school. Before any renovations could begin, however, Kubilus said the district would need to pass a $25 million bond issue.

If passed, the district would qualify for an additional $21 million from the Ohio School Facilities Commission, school board President Dale Roberts said.

Roberts, a school board member for 20 years, said planning the elementary school began about nine years ago. The last school to be built in the district was the middle school in 1969, he said.

The current elementary schools had to be retro-fitted to be handicap-accessible, he said, limiting activities and programs.

Kubilus estimated the combined age of the three elementary schools to be more than 300 years. He added the schools were not built to be that equipped with 21st-century technology.

“To me, what is exciting is we’re going to have a facility where we can give our children a 21st-century education in a 21st-century building,” he said.

Roberts, who plans to retire from the school board after his term expires in December, said seeing the school built is the perfect end to his years of service.

“We’ve been working on the project for a long time, and it’s nice to see it finally come to fruition,” he said. “It’s a good end to a career.”

Contact Lisa Hlavinka at (330) 721-4048 or lhlavinka@ohio.net.