Park Avenue Partnerships
Park Avenue School will not sit idle next year! Partnerships with the Greater Cleveland YMCA and the Portage County Educational Service Center are nearly complete, and we have commitments from both entities that will bring some exciting services to the community. You will see a YMCA business trailer appear near the elementary or high school on or around March 15. The YMCA will use this as a visual form of advertising for their summer day camps and youth soccer, which are the first programs they will be introducing to our area. The Portage County ESC is currently working on getting the Park Avenue School approved by the State of Ohio for public preschool. Their plans are to implement preschool for this fall. The district is proud to be a part of expanding the services to our community through the Park Avenue School.
Campus of Excellence
After reviewing bids, the Garfield Board of Education selected Hammond Construction from Canton as the Design/Build firm for the construction of the elementary addition, secure entrance, and dual serving lines in the cafeteria. Hammond has a long history of successful school construction projects and is regarded as one of the best firms in the area for quality and value. They are keenly aware of our aggressive timeline and have success working under very similar timelines in the past. Hammond is already working with the district’s architects, FMD, on creating a footprint for the foundation so plans can be submitted for approval.
You may have also noticed surveyors on the district property for the past several weeks. They are marking boundaries and utilities as well as creating a topographical survey for properly handling water runoff and drainage. In the coming week you will see a drilling machine near the elementary school that will be taking soil borings. These borings are required to assure the stability of the soil for the addition.
Last week our students and staff had an opportunity to review different laptops that are under consideration for purchase for the technology transformation. Teachers and students both recommended an HP device and we are currently acquiring pricing for both models. We intend to purchase the teacher devices before the end of February and the student devices by the end of this school year. Trainings for teachers and students will take place in the near future, and informational meetings for parents will follow. It is our goal to use these tools to provide students with unique learning experiences that will give them a competitive edge whether they choose a college or career path.
As mentioned in our previous update, an oversight committee of parents, community members, staff and students has been established to provide input and updates on the current status of the project. The committee held its first meeting on Thursday, February 20 from 6pm-7pm in the Middle School Library. They will play an important role as key communicators in the community. Both Hammond (builders) and FMD (architects) will be on hand to provide updates on our safety plan, traffic alterations and site plans to members of the committee. Notes, drawings and plans shared at the meetings will be posted on the district website after each meeting.
The project is quickly moving forward, and we are confident the addition will be ready for students to start the school year in August. Everyone on the team has a clear understanding that we expect nothing less than excellence. We are committed to having a campus we can all be proud of for decades to come.
As always, if you have any questions please feel free to contact me directly at the office (330.527.4336) or on my cell (216.534.7413).