The Austintown Local School District is preparing for the opening of two new elementary schools when classes resume Sept. 4.
One building, Austintown Elementary School, will house kindergarten through 2nd grade, and the other, Austintown Intermediate School, will house 3rd through 5th grade. Each school is 120,000 square feet and the entire project cost is $50 million. The state paid nearly 50 percent of that price tag and residents passed a 2.9-mill bond issue to pay the balance.
The district has shrunk from four elementary schools to two because it has had success with that method in the past.
“We really looked at the model from our middle school. We’ve had such great academic success. We collaborated two middle schools down to one middle school in 2007,” Colaluca said.
The new classrooms will be equipped with everything from touch-screen TVs to computers and sound systems.
“When we met with our teachers, I asked the teachers to think of our building for a teacher 15 years from now and not of us teaching in it next year,” said Austintown Schools Superintendent Vince Colaluca.
He said teachers will be in the new buildings on Aug. 19 to get their classrooms set up.
Austintown Trustee Jim Davis said the new schools are just another positive for the community.
“To have the new classrooms to walk into. It’s just another showpiece in the Austintown community, and what a great opportunity for our youth to learn in state-of-the-art schools,” Davis said.
The Board of Education also got an offer from the state to build a new Austintown Fitch High School, which is on the same campus as the two new schools. Officials haven’t made a decision yet, but the state will pay more than half of the $64 million project.
Colaluca said the high school project would require another bond issue if they decide to move forward, but it definitely won’t be on November’s ballot.