Urbana City Schools’ two new school buildings are moving forward, with second-story work on the high school progressing and site development on the elementary/middle school moving forward.
The interior walls at the high school have been framed in, and a large portion of the bearing walls are complete, Superintendent Charles Thiel told the school board Tuesday. A lot of work is being done on the second story, so steel framework can be installed at the top.
The elementary/middle school building on South U.S. Route 68 has soil stabilization work done on the drives and parking lot, and footers began to be installed last week. Visitors to the site can see rough outlines of the building.
The school board approved an easement for Columbia Gas at the elementary/middle school as part of the project. This allows the company to install and maintain utilities on site.
The goal is to have students in the high school in March 2018 and in the elementary/middle school in January 2019. If construction moves along swiftly, students may be in the elementary/middle school building in August 2018, Thiel said.
Redevelopment possibilities for elementaries
Thiel said an Indiana company has expressed interest in redeveloping North and South elementaries, though the discussion is preliminary. The company, which he did not name, has converted schools into housing. The company is possibly interested in the former Douglas Inn downtown as part of the project.
To make the redevelopment feasible, it likely would take grants from the government, Thiel said. The company handles that aspect of any development. Thiel said he wanted to see if the school board would be interested in more information about the potential project.
Board members Alyssa Dunham and Darrell Thomas indicated they would like more information. Thiel said he would continue to pursue the possibility and update the board as he receives information.
Casey S. Elliott may be reached at 937-652-1331 ext. 1772 or on Twitter @UDCElliott.