Tuesday, June 15, 2004

Schools proceed with new buildings

Kenton district OKs work at various sites

By Karen Gutierrez
The Cincinnati Enquirer

The Kenton County School District this summer will begin five construction projects, part of a $72 million overhaul of its buildings.

"I would suspect this is probably the largest capital construction campaign in the history of Kenton County schools," said Rob Haney, director of support operations.

The school board voted Monday to move forward with:

• $4.5 million in site-preparation work for the new Twenhofel Middle School, to be located next to the old one at 11800 Taylor Mill Road.

The new school should be completed in a year and a half.

• $2.4 million in site work for the new Caywood Elementary School, to be located next to Turkey Foot Middle School, about two miles from the existing Caywood. The new elementary should be completed in August 2005.

• Application to the state for permission to proceed with $6 million in new athletic facilities at Dixie Heights High School. Ultimately, this project will result in a new multipurpose stadium as well as the school's first on-site soccer field, baseball field and track.

• $125,000 for new restrooms for an already completed addition to Taylor Mill Elementary School.

• $150,000 in design work to prepare for rewiring the computers at River Ridge Elementary School. The new technology will make the network faster and better able to handle sophisticated software.

The district is paying for these projects and others with two bond issues this summer. The first, for $43 million, was approved by the school board on Monday. The bonds will be paid off in part with proceeds from last year's special property tax increase of 5 cents per $100 of assessed value.

So much construction is going on at once that the district is juggling where to put various employees.

The school system's central headquarters in Erlanger, for instance, must be demolished to make room for Dixie Heights' athletic fields. So last weekend, the superintendent and other central-office employees moved to 1055 Eaton Drive in Fort Wright, an office building along Ky. 17 that is part of the headquarters of Sanitation District No. 1.


E-mail kgutierrez@enquirer.com

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