A groundbreaking day for Ridgemont

Clear skies and spring-like temperatures Sunday greeted several hundred guests proudly wearing green and gold during a historic day for Ridgemont Local Schools, as the district celebrated a groundbreaking ceremony for its new pre-K through 12 school building.

Preschool students Hayden Williamson, left, and Faith Newland assist with the Ridgemont Local Schools groundbreaking ceremony Sunday for the new pre-K through 12 building to be located at 560 W. Taylor St., Mt. Victory. Standing behind them armed with shovels, several district officials, board of education members and two members of the Class of 2016 also dug up some dirt for the ceremony. (EXAMINER PHOTO | MANDY LOEHR)

At the building site located just outside of Mt. Victory at 560 W. Taylor St., the approximately $21 million Ohio School Facilities Commission project follows several years of levy attempts to finance the facility. Following the successful March 2012 passage of a $6.9-million bond issue, architects from SHP Leading Design of Cincinnati have assisted planning and design work for the past two years.

“Good things come to those who wait,” Board of Education President Eric Hill said to the crowd at the ceremony. “This project didn’t come easy and without hours of sacrifice.

“Thanks to the design team for the many hours of meetings. There have been tears shed, sleep lost, and red faces from frustration at some points...

“The board also would like to thank the community. Every one of you is making a financial sacrifice to make this happen, and also has sacrificed of their time and talents. We thank you for the gift that you have given to the district.”

Project managers Smoot Elfort McDaniels of Columbus and general contractors from the Adena Corporation of Mansfield will help to direct the construction of the 88,800-square-foot facility that will house approximately 525 students. 

Superintendent Emmy Beeson highlighted some of the components of the new school building, including approximately 112,000 concrete blocks, 121,000 bricks, 1,800 sheets of dry wall, 275 tons of structural steel, 1,400 cubic yards of concrete and about 8,600 square feet of windows.

Also noteworthy at Ridgemont’s new building will be more than 13 miles of geothermal well field piping around the site, 65 security cameras at the school and 68 wireless access points for students and staff.

For additional information about the groundbreaking ceremony, see Monday's Examiner.