Community members got a chance to view plans for the new Urbana City Schools’ pre-kindergarten to eighth grade building Sunday at an official groundbreaking ceremony.
The new 180,000-square-foot school is located on 68.9 acres of land on South U.S. Route 68, between Vintage Drive Thru and Campground Road. The district chose this location following issues with the land it had previously purchased for a new school off Community Drive.
The building is part of a school construction project that includes a new high school building. The new high school is being built next to the current high school. Students are estimated to begin using the new elementary/middle school in January 2019, and the new high school in March 2018.
The new school will house approximately 1,500 students, and is estimated to cost $39.5 million, Urbana Superintendent Charles Thiel said previously.
The event was moved from the site of the new school to the Urbana High School gym, due to expected rainy weather. Board President Jan Engle and Ohio Board of Education District One Representative Linda Haycock spoke at the event. Urbana fourth graders provided sign language assistance during the national anthem, and the elementary show choir entertained attendees. Also in attendance was Urbana Director of Administration Kerry Brugger.
Haycock took the podium to honor her mentor and friend, Warren Stevens, who graduated from Urbana and served on the Urbana Board of Education for more than a decade and was a pillar in the community.
“I know that Warren would have been bubbling over with joy and pride,” Haycock said. “He often spoke of the children in the Urbana City School District like they were his family. Warren saw the value in connecting the generations together. Let us continue Warren’s legacy by never forgetting that educating children is a community effort and needs and deserves the support of every member of the community.”
Attendees also got a chance to view floor plans of the new elementary/middle school.
“It’s exciting that we’ve got two new really neat buildings that are being constructed. It’s an exciting time for Urbana,” Engle said. “This is a three-century project. The original building was built in the 1890s, I believe. Be proud of Urbana.”
Casey S. Elliott may be reached at 937-652-1331 ext. 1772 or on Twitter @UDCElliott. Justin Miller contributed to this story.