Warren BOE seeks input on look of buildings

VINCENT — The Warren Local Schools $61 million building project has advanced into the detailed visual stage, and the district leadership is urging the community to get involved in deciding the look of the new complex.

Superintendent Kyle Newton recapped the most recent design team meeting at a board meeting Monday night.

“We’re starting to get into what the buildings will look like on the outside, the siting, the colors, the beginning of the elementary school layout,” Newton said. “This is where it starts to become a reality.”

A report on the April 5 design team meeting includes drawings from architectural firm Fanning Howey, which offers several facade looks for the new elementary school, along with floor layout schematics.

The report began setting out a construction schedule, with design development scheduled for completion at the end of summer and building to start in the spring of 2019.

Board president Debbie West said the last two working meetings for the project had been well-attended.

“As more people become aware of these, I am wondering if we have enough chairs,” she said. The meetings have been held in the district board conference room, which holds about 30 people.

The next working meeting will be May 3. Newton noted that at this stage of the project, members of the community can have an impact on the design of the new schools, even being given the chance to vote on their choice of the way the schools will look.

“These meetings are important,” he said. “There’s a lot of opportunity to have influence.”

Copies of previous reports can be seen on the district website, warrenlocal.org, by clicking on the building project tab.

In other business, the board gave certificates of recognition to three students who organized an assembly at Warren High School in late March to have an open discussion on school violence. An expert panel recruited by the students — Emma Rader, Shelby Lofty and Mya Smith — included Judge Timothy Williams, Sheriff Larry Mincks, Sheriff’s Capt. Brian Rhodes, and Nancy Hollister and Stephanie Dodd of the state Board of Education. Newton said at a meeting afterward he was sought out by state board members who had heard about the assembly and wanted to congratulate the district.

The board approved $93,000 for the purchase of a school bus, its third this year, and was advised by district operations committee member Bob Allen the district is struggling to recruit bus drivers.