July 24, 2016

Partly cloudy

Work set to start at new Wadsworth campus

WADSWORTH — City officials are preparing to break ground on the Wadsworth High School and Community Center campus, slated to be completed by the 2012 school year.

At 1:30 p.m. Aug. 13, the city will have a groundbreaking ceremony at the construction site, 625 Broad St., behind the high school. The event will include an overview of the project, timelines and activity that will occur on the campus during construction.

In November 2008, voters passed a $3.9 million, 28-year bond issue to help build the campus, which will include a new high school, health and wellness recreation facility and senior center, and rebuilding three elementary schools. Overall, the project is expected to cost $139 million, Mayor Robin Laubaugh said.

The first phase of the project will focus on constructing the high school and health and wellness center, with construction of the three elementary schools coming at a later date, Laubaugh said.

Wadsworth City Schools Superintendent Dale Fortner has said the high school project could be partially funded by the Ohio School Facilities Commission. Other revenue would come from the 0.5 percentage point income tax increase Medina County voters approved in 2007 for capital improvements for schools.

Programming at Steiner Youth Center will continue through May 2010. The center will close its doors in June 2010, and then be demolished. The city will rely on the Akron Area YMCA and city schools to provide recreation facilities and programs until the campus is complete.

Laubaugh said Steiner will close because of the additional costs associated with keeping it open during construction for and safety reasons.

Because of its close proximity to the center, officials say “dust and vibration from heavy equipment could lead to damage of the pump and filter systems or even render the pool unusable.”

The economy may speed up some aspects of the construction sequence, including the three elementary schools, because the city is anxious to advertise for construction bids while the environment is competitive, she said.

“Current economic times have created a market in which the bidding climate is extremely lean, which means that for those with capital to spend, now is the best time to bid construction work,” Laubaugh said.

The complex is a collaborative effort of the city, Summa Wadsworth-Rittman Hospital, Wadsworth Public Library and Wadsworth schools.

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