Shadyside Mulls New School Complex

SHADYSIDE — A proposal to build a new consolidated K-12 school in Shadyside would cost about $30 million, but education officials believe it may be necessary for the district to continue providing a quality education.

Members of Shadyside Village Council and the Shadyside Local Schools Board of Education held a joint meeting Monday to discuss the possibility of a consolidated K-12 school building being constructed in the future.

Schools Superintendent John Haswell said the current Shadyside High School has sections built in the 1930s and 1950s. Haswell said the district will be eligible for state funding in July from the Ohio Facilities Construction Commission.

“This is all preliminary,” Haswell said. “We have to start looking at options for what we can do to give our students the best school district.”

Joshua Predovich, project manager with Columbus, Ohio-based SHP Leading Design, gave a presentation on the feasibility of building a new complex on the site in question, which currently contains Hillview Park and the Shadyside Pool. The project –which is estimated at $30 million based on current enrollment — would be funded 77 percent by the state, with the district’s share at 23 percent, or $6.9 million.

SHP has completed an initial site assessment and analysis, along with borings from a geotechnical survey. The findings showed that the proposed site is not especially vulnerable to flood damage, and while there are mine shafts deep under the surface, the chance of subsidence is “very, very low.” The borings found that there is a layer of clay that would have to be taken into consideration, as it expands and contracts depending on moisture levels, but overall the site is well suited for the project.

Predovich presented three proposed locations for the new school at the site — at the top of the hill, in the middle, or at the base.

“I’m here to tell you we don’t see any red flags,” Predovich said.

SHP’s timeline for the rest of the project has the company working throughout 2018 to develop site concepts and begin pricing options, finalizing a master plan in and working to get everything finalized to put a levy on the ballot in November 2019.

Haswell said that it is still early to have any precise numbers on a levy, but added that the district will allow a current 4.61-mills emergency levy lapse this November, as the district is in better financial shape than when the levy was passed five years ago. This will free the district up to pass another levy when the time comes in 2019.

“These are the talks that are going to happen over the next two years, and I hope they happen fast,” Haswell said.

Mayor Robert Newhart said that he feels “hopeful” for the future of the school district after seeing the presentation, and Haswell should reach out to village council if they can do anything to assist in the project. Newhart said that the land on the proposed sit is currently owned by the village, but doesn’t foresee any issue with the school district taking possession of it.

“Hillview Park and the pool are used, but for the betterment of the community and increased value of education, if they can put a school there than so be it,” Newhart said.