Wooster board moves to rebuild Cornerstone

Wooster board moves to rebuild Cornerstone

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The Wooster City School District Board of Education has chosen not to finance a renovation architectural analysis of Cornerstone Elementary School. The decision to not continue with the analysis means the district is ready to move forward with plans to rebuild a pre-k to second grade school on the Cornerstone lot.

The Ohio Facilities Construction Committee assessment of a renovation has the price tag to renovate Cornerstone at approximately 90% of the cost to rebuild fully. The OFCC recommends rebuilding when the cost of renovation is at 75% of a rebuild. The cost analysis also validated the perception that a renovation of Cornerstone would not prepare the building for 21st-century learning.

“We recognize that the cost of the restoration analysis is minimal in relation to the overall master facilities project,” Wooster Superintendent Gabe Tudor said. “However, the district does not want to pursue an evaluation for something that, based on the information we already have available, indicates it is in the best interest of the students and the community to rebuild on the Cornerstone site.”

In its assessment the board heard from the OFCC, hired an architecture firm for the assessment, and fielded questions and concerns from community members.

Rebuilding a pre-k to second grade school on the Cornerstone site is just one step in the district’s facilities master plan. Addressing aging buildings and school safety, increasing equity among all students, and fostering teacher collaboration and efficiency are all part of Wooster’s long-term plan to prepare the district for continued 21st-century learning success.

The current plan is to keep the front façade and construct a new building in the spirit of the original Cornerstone.

“We know how important this building is to the community,” Tudor said. “There is a lot of history in those halls, and we know that many would like to see the spirit of Cornerstone remain within our district.”

For more information visit www.woostercityschools.org.