By MAX FILBY
Early designs have been released for the new $2.5 million entrance to Findlay High School.
The addition will be built next to the current main entrance of the high school, near the corner of Broad and Trenton avenues.
It will close the gap between the current main entrance and the auditorium entrance. An open courtyard and an overhang now act as an outdoor corridor between the buildings.
The addition’s design, including a slanted roof and glass walls, resembles the architecture of the nearby Millstream Career Center, which opened in 2012.
“It’ll be really nice when it’s finished,” Superintendent Dean Wittwer said.
When developing the new entry, Wittwer said the district wanted to mimic the architecture of the career center to create a sense of continuity between the two buildings, which stand side by side on Broad Avenue.
“It’s definitely very reflective of the style of architecture you see at Millstream,” Wittwer said.
RCM Architects of Findlay is in charge of designing the new entry, and Thomas & Marker Construction, of Bellefontaine, is in charge of construction.
The project is being funded by the school district’s existing 2.5-mill permanent improvement levy. The levy was approved by voters on a continuous basis in 2006.
Wittwer said he expects the addition will be completed sometime in late October or November, but didn’t rule out an earlier completion date.
“If we have a good summer it could happen sooner,” Wittwer said. “Everything will be here before the students are out of school (in May) so they can start right away.”
The new entrance will close off a courtyard and provide an enclosed corridor. Students currently have to go outside to travel between the main school building and R.L. Heminger Auditorium.
Part of the addition, with its view of Broad Avenue, will function as an atrium to the auditorium, Wittwer said.
The addition will also feature a security office that students and visitors will have to pass through when entering the building during school hours, Wittwer said.
Multiple cameras will monitor the entrance.
The new high school entrance will be under construction when students return in August, so students will enter the building through the back of the high school, or through the entrance to the freshman wing.
The freshman entrance is a set of doors at the front of the building, located below a stone bearing the school’s name.
On March 24, the Findlay school board accepted a bid for the construction project from Thomas & Marker Construction.
The bid of close to $2.5 million was the second lowest, or about $45,000 more than one submitted by Telamon Construction, Sandusky. The district decided to go with Thomas & Marker after experiencing problems with Telamon Construction and its hiring of subcontractors during the building of the new Millstream Career Center, Wittwer said.