Leader Blues

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

TOP STORY >>Design plans released

By HEATHER HARTSELL
Leader staff writer

An option to keep seventh-graders at Cabot Middle School North rather than at the high school campus during the rebuilding of Junior High North was presented Thursday afternoon by CMSN principal Renee Calhoun.
Calhoun’s option called for no more than five portable buildings to help house band, industrial technology, athletics, and computer lab for the 385 students that would call CMSN home for two years while the district rebuilds the burned down junior high.

Five more portables would be needed at the high school, replacing the old ones already there; eighth- and ninth-graders would still attend classes at the high school in this option.

School board president David Hipp asked Calhoun to come up with this second option after the April 9 meeting with parents in which many didn’t like the thought of seventh-graders attending school at Cabot High School, even though the seventh- through ninth-graders would be on a separate part of the campus with little or no interaction with high schoolers.

The Cabot School District is currently paying $40,000 a month to rent the 30 portable buildings that comprise “the village” of CJHN. Calhoun’s option would save the district about $25,000 a month in rent.

That money would come in handy for the district’s share of rebuilding CJHN, an estimated $3 million for the 134,486-square-foot structure that will be rebuilt on the hill.

The state agreed on April 4 to pay no more than $5.2 million for the new building that is projected to cost $18.5 million.
The $10 million the school district received from their insurance company, Great American Insurance Company of Ohio, will also go to construction costs.

Assistant Superintendent Jim Dalton revealed the first blueprints for the new two-story structure on Thursday.

In a close resemblance to the high school design, the new CJHN will have two wings branching off the main entrance and add about 28,400 square feet to the school. Both the band area and the cafeteria will be located at the ends of the wings, with an outside commons area between the two.

The agriculture building, that remained intact after the Aug. 8 fire that destroyed the main part of the school, will be located to the right of the new main building; the multi-purpose activity building will be located to the left of the new construction.
The new CJHN will meet all new building codes and standards, will have a sprinkler system, 850-square-foot classrooms, six science labs, a 9,000-square-foot cafeteria, and meet the indoor air quality standards.

MSN Option

In Calhoun’s option, seventh-graders would occupy the majority of the left wing of her campus; fifth- and sixth-graders would be combined in the right wing with a few classrooms having to be in the left wing.

There would be three four-person teams of seventh-grade teachers that would teach the four core classes: English, math, science and social studies.

“Those four teachers would see the same students all day for the core classes,” Calhoun said. Additional seventh-grade teachers would teach elective classes.

Calhoun said she believes an additional 385 students would not add much traffic during school pickup, saying it currently takes between 11 and 13 minutes to have all 730 fifth and sixth-graders loaded in the afternoon with no traffic sitting on Hwy. 38.

Her option, she believes, would be better for seventh-graders because they would be in familiar territory and be in one building.

The eight and ninth-graders would still be placed on the high school campus, using the same spaces allotted in the option that places seventh- through ninth-grade at the high school.