“Normally we have an open house at the beginning of every school year so parents and students can come and meet their teachers and see what room they’re in. It’s very informal normally, so this year is no different,” Clay Superintendent Tony Mantell said.
But it is a little different this year, because even though the annual open house has always given students a chance to find their classroom, most of them knew the old building well enough already. Students are unfamiliar with the new building, so having the chance to walk through and find their classes is more important this year.
Maps will be handed out to guide visitors through the building.
“We’ve had so many requests from so many people who not necessarily have children in the school but just want to see the building. So we just made it open to the general public,” Mantell said.
Mantell is expecting such a large turnout he’s asked deputies from the Scioto County Sheriff’s Office to help guide traffic and parking.
The school district passed a local tax levy in March 2008, with voters agreeing to pay 19 percent of the $23 million price tag. The remaining 81 percent was paid for by the Ohio School Facilities Commission. The building was designed by Tanner Stone Holsinger and Donges in Portsmouth, and broke ground in 2009 with local contractors from J&H Erectors, West End Electric and BB&E Plumbing.
“I’m extremely excited. This is the culmination of many years of preparation. It’s really good to see the district’s efforts pay off. We’ve had so many people involved who have given a lot of their time and gone way above and beyond the call of duty, and contractors have worked diligently the last couple weeks to make sure we could meet the date,“ Mantell said.
Last year was the final year that Clay had used its old school buildings, and the high school was torn down earlier this month. Mantell said there are still a few things that need to be finished, but otherwise the building is ready for students.
“We’re ready to teach,” he promised.
Clay students will begin class in the new building Monday. A formal public dedication ceremony will be scheduled at a later date.
RYAN SCOTT OTTNEY can be reached at (740) 353-3101, ext. 235, or email@example.com.