Findlay plans final secure school entrance

The Findlay school board accepted a bid Monday to construct the district’s final school security entrance.
The entrance, which will be a small addition to the front of Jacobs Primary School, will cost the district $161,850.
“We think it’s going to be much improved,” Superintendent Dean Wittwer said about the project. “We’re very pleased.”
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 continuing basis in 2006.
Construction Services of Carey will undertake the project this summer.
The entrance will be similar to one at Chamberlin Hill Intermediate School, Wittwer said. The Chamberlin Hill entrance has two glass doors and a camera. Visitors use an intercom to buzz an attendant at the front desk, who then can speak to the visitor and let him or her inside.
The district decided to construct the security entrance at Jacobs by adding on to the building, because there isn’t enough space within the current entrance, Wittwer said. The new entrance will likely be completed before school starts in the fall.
The district also plans to redirect the flow of bus traffic around the school by rerouting some of it onto Glenwood Street. That will help alleviate traffic congestion as parents drop students off in front of the school, Wittwer said.
“It’s a mess over there, so we figured out a way to relieve some of that congestion,” Wittwer said.
Jacobs Primary is one of three schools in the district receiving entrance upgrades this summer.
Washington Preschool will have its entrance updated to match the one at Chamberlin Hill, and Findlay High School will get a new entrance at a cost of about $2.5 million.
The high school entrance will be built next to the current main entrance, 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’s definitely very reflective of the style of architecture you see at Millstream,” Wittwer said.
RCM Architects, of Findlay, is designing the new high school entry, and Thomas & Marker Construction, of Bellefontaine, is in charge of construction. The project is expected to be finished sometime in November or October and is also funded by the district’s permanent improvement levy.
Separately Monday, Findlay schools Treasurer Mike Barnhart accepted the Auditor of State Award with distinction. Barnhart has been district treasurer since 2004.
“Everyone in the district helps us maintain accountability,” Barnhart said. “It doesn’t mean we are getting more money, but it does mean we are doing a good job with the money we’re already getting.”
Wittwer and members of the school board congratulated Barnhart, and said the award shows that district officials are “good stewards” of taxpayer dollars.
“You deserve that award,” Wittwer said to Barnhart.
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