Ground broken at Waynedale

Ground broken at Waynedale

Image Credit: Todd Stumpf

A crowd of about 60 looked on as a dozen students, two from each school in the Southeast Local Schools District took a couple ceremonial shovels full of dirt in a photo-op kickoff of construction of what will be Waynedale’s new one-size-fits-all facility.

Ground was broken June 20 on the 170,000-square-foot facility that will carry with it an estimated $50 million to $55 million price tag and eventually house all students in grades K-12 in the district, which Superintendent Jon Ritchie said eventually will change monikers from Southeast Local Schools to Waynedale Local Schools.

“I think people are really excited,” Ritchie said. “People are excited about the opportunity for our kids to have a state-of-the-art learning facility and how we are very fortunate to have the Rover Pipeline come through and make it possible.”

Ritchie was referring to a natural gas conduit constructed over the last decade that provided a financial windfall to the area.

The twelve students represented the coming together of the district that will occur in the new building. Instead of four grade schools, a middle school and a high school, all Waynedale Schools Students will be in the same facility, a four-wing affair that will sit behind where the current Waynedale High School stands. The new facility is expected to be completed in time for the 2024-25 school year.

Among those introduced along with the 12 youngsters – who introduced themselves to the gathering – were Byron Manchester of BSHM Architects Inc., and Matt Collier of C.T. Taylor Construction. Each representative then introduced his team members who will be overseeing the project.

Ritchie, currently superintendent in three Wayne County Districts along with the Tri-County Educational Service Center, has had a hand in four prior new construction projects in school districts. He said a lot was learned from those projects, just like anything is learned from any experience.

What he expects from this venture is an education facility that will enhance learning without going too far in terms of cost or scope.

“It’s going to be functional, not over-the-top, not a Taj Mahal,” he said. “It’s just a solid school building like the people of the Southeast Local School District would want.”