Newton BOE receives construction updates

PLEASANT HILL — Representatives from Level MB Construction met with the Newton Local School board of education on Wednesday to discuss a timeline on the construction of the district’s new athletic/community center.

Director of Construction Matt Gray presented updated design schematics to the board, which included minor alterations to earlier designs at the board’s request. Such alterations included re-placement of locker rooms and restrooms beneath the facility’s mezzanine, and a slight enlarging of the facility’s weight room and storage area.

“Over the next four to six weeks, we’ll hope to develop this design development set of plans to a permit level,” Gray said. “Meanwhile, we’ll be checking in with Pat (McBride) from a design standpoint everything’s still on track, and then in the latter part of April, we’ll send it out to bid to pre-approved local sub-contractors.”

Gray stated that Level MB hopes to mobilize hired sub-contractors to begin working at the site in early May.

“Collectively, if it’s a better idea to get started once school lets out, we’ll get started on less invasive mobilization until then,” Gray said.

The proposed 17,000-square-foot multi-purpose building will serve the district for community/social events, fitness and exercise facilities open to the community, weight rooms and practice facilities for athletic teams, a year-round batting cage and pitching lane for baseball and softball, and a full-size, college-length basketball court and running track, which may double as a venue for public events.

The overall budget for the project is $1.7-1.8 million. The district will not ask for any additional funds from the public for the project.

The district and Level MB hope to have the new facility completed by February 2020.

The board also approved a number of action items, including approval of tax rates by the Miami County Budget Commission, approval of supplemental contract non-renewals, and contract renewals with Upper Valley Medical Center and the Miami County Sheriff’s Office for the 2019-20 school year.

The board also approved the receiving of bids for a new school bus, which will be added to the district’s existing fleet in the 2019-20 school year. The district currently has six buses that chart regular routes, and two spare buses. A new bus purchase would keep the oldest regularly-routed bus in the fleet under 10 years of age. With the purchase, the oldest regularly routed bus would be transitioned to a spare, and an existing spare would be sold to the dealership.

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By Cody Willoughby