Lake breaks ground on new elementary


MILLBURY – With a “junior construction crew” tossing the first dirt, Lake Local Schools officially broke ground Sunday on its new 110,000 square-foot two-story elementary school.

The $36 million state-of-the-art facility expected to be completed in time for the start of the 2024 school year.

“Thank you for joining us on this historic day as we, as a community, continue to strive to provide an education for our students that is safe, current, and healthy,’” Superintendent Jim Witt said to parents, students and community members gathered outside the construction site. “This building will meet all three of those standards and it will also complete a campus-wide upgrade of facilities that began over 20 years ago.”

The new construction, funded by a levy passed in 2021, will replace the current elementary school, which was built in the 1960s and will be demolished once the new school opens.

The facility is located within the Lake Local Schools education campus adjacent to the high school and middle school on Ohio 795 and Lemoyne Road. It will house preschool through sixth grade and will feature a large open-air entrance with plenty of natural light, air conditioning, enhanced security controls and state-of-the-art technology throughout.

Designed by the Collaborative architecture firm with construction by Rudolph Libbe Inc., the building will increase the number of classrooms from 28 to 49. It features developmentally appropriate playgrounds and multiple restrooms for each grade level with preschool and kindergarten both having a restroom in the class.

“We will now have a dining and multipurpose room, in addition to a gymnasium,” Principal Mandy Wilburn said. “This will allow the opportunity for students to have a larger movement space when Mother Nature isn’t behaving. A stage will be in our gym that will allow us to have performances as well.”

The building will have its own cafeteria with improved food options. Presently, food is brought over from the high school.

The “junior construction crew” was made up of five Lake Elementary students: Fifth-grader Jozie Smith, fourth grader Beckham Lopez, third grader Abby Frye, second grader Ryanne Katz and first grader Chase Allen.

“I’m most looking forward to the new playground, air conditioning and being up on the second floor,” Beckham Lopez said.

Fifth grader Jozie Smith said she was most looking forward to “making memories and new traditions and getting to spend one more year with my favorite teachers.”

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