Solon considering plans to either renovate SHS or build a new high school

Damaged tiles at SHS.

Damaged tiles at SHS.

Andrew Hall, Staff Writer

The Solon High School Board of Education has been talking about a new school or renovations on the current school for a few months–since a board meeting held in the fall.

At the meeting, Superintendent Fred Bolden, Director of Business Mike Acomb, and other personnel shared their strategic plan. The process is still new, but Superintendent Bolden shared where they are with the plan and some challenges they may face in the upcoming process.

“The goal in our strategic plan was to evaluate the cost and efficacy of either a new building or a renovation, so that is the process we have been undergoing,” Superintendent Bolden said. “I know people have been saying ‘oh we’re getting a new high school.’ That’s not what our strategic plan says. Our strategic plan has to look at how it could it be done, where it could happen, how much it would cost, what the differences of a new construction versus a new renovation could be, and then how we are going to fund it.”

As the funding is being discussed, there is no solid number figured out, but there is a ball park range.

“A high school you are probably looking at $100 million or more, and as each year goes on it gets to be a little more expensive,” Superintendent Bolden said.

According to Acomb, as they get further into the process, they will begin to look at site planning.

“[We will look at a] general conceptual planning of what our needs and wants are for it,” Acomb said. “And then after that you have a detailed plan of what do science classrooms look like in this new place. What does the auditorium look like? The athletic facilities look like? The arts facilities? What is it all gonna look like?

“And we are really at this beginning part where we have a preliminary site plan sort of laid out, and then we are now gonna study how if we were to pursue a new high school, how big would it be, what we would want, what kind of things would we anticipate needing, and then we try to put a budget number to that.”

Robert Rivera, one of SHS history teachers, gave his insight on the school and what are the problems in it.

“We need a modern high school that fits our needs. There’s enough physical challenges around here and [a] special challenge [is] storage,” Rivera said. “And I know the district has had to spend a lot of money to keep the school safe.”