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45 Classrooms, 12 Labs in Proposed 160,000-sq-ft. Middle School

Superintendent Mike Laub discusses new school plans at public forum.

Avon Superintendent of Schools Mike Laub unveiled the initial floor plan for the new Avon Middle School expected to be finished for the 2015-16 school year. Voters approved a levy to finance the school last November.

Laub made the presentation at an open meeting Feb. 20 in the current middle school cafeteria.  

The 160,000-sq-ft. building that will cost $32 million, will house sixth, seventh and eighth-grade students. The building will be constructed on a 46-acre property the district already owns on Long Road.

The elongated building’s main entrance is next to administrative offices.

After entering through a main door, individuals will move into a 6,500-sq-ft. two-story cafeteria.

“This is the floor plan, the design part of the process,” Laub said saying interior items, such as what’s in each room and what kind of doors, were not being discussed yet. 

What is fairly firm are the number of classrooms and labs.

The new building will have 45 classrooms—15 classes per grade—and 12 labs for a total of 57 learning spaces. The building also will have three intervention classes per grade, for a total of nine classes.

The building as planned will meet enrollment growth projections through 2021. Laub said that if enrollment exceeds expectations, the building could expand for another 16 classes, eight on each wing of the building.

The front of the building is the academic area, the middle will feature the cafeteria and the rear of the building will hold fine arts, gym and music rooms. Science rooms will be upstairs.

The new building will be a startling change from the overcrowded current one. It features 14-ft. wide hallways.

“There’s a lot of room for kids to move in the hallways,” Laub said.

Stairs are 16 feet across in total to take on the volume of students.

The district expects 350 per grade in 2015-16 and a total of 1,200 – 1,2050 students in upcoming years.

“The building is designed to keep grade levels traveling together,” Laub said, noting that sometimes the younger and older students didn’t mesh well.

Consideration was given right down to the north-south orientation of the building and how that affected light entering into the building.

“The building is being designed to take advantage of natural light and have the most energy efficiency,” Laub said.

The new middle school will also have wireless capabilities throughout.

Avon Middle School principal Craig Kohler said he, Laub and other district officials have visited other local schools including Midview, Amherst, North Royalton and Westlake middle schools. 

“We got some ideas from there," Koehler.

 “It doesn’t look big on a footprint, but it’s huge,” Kohler said about the new middle school.

Bidding will go out for the construction portion.

“We’ll go with lowest, most responsible,” school treasurer Kent Zeman said, adding  “the lowest, most responsible” bid must be accepted by law.

“(It’s) all a public bid.”

The presentation also included the following information:

Cafeteria/kitchen

The cafeteria is large enough to house one-third of students at a time to accommodate three potential lunch periods. Laub said that would allow for scheduling flexibility.

Fine arts/gym

The building is designed for seventh and eighth-grade sports and includes one main gym and an attached auxiliary gym. The gyms will be separated by a heavy curtain.

Music room and a “fitness room” is marked on the plans but Laub said the fitness room is more of an all-purpose room.

“It can function as a large music room, wrestling room...” Laub said.

Laub said a loose timeframe for construction includes prepping the property in the fall, breaking ground in January 2014 and completing the construction within 17 months, several months ahead of the 2015-16 school year.

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