When Sylvania's new Central Trail Elementary opens in six months, it will feature a parklike setting that will include skylights and soothing earth-tone colors.
Construction of the 72,557-square-foot building has been progressing on schedule since last August. The building was designed with many updated technological and structural features.
The school will have 39 classrooms for kindergarten through fifth grade, including six special-education classrooms; an art room, a music room; and a computer lab. Other special features include a geothermal heating and ventilation system and translucent windows in the gymnasium.
A folding wall is installed between the cafeteria and the gym, which will allow the rooms to double as an auditorium. Alan Bacho, director of facilities and operations at Sylvania schools, said this plan has worked out well at Maplewood Elementary.
He noted that the school is near Timberstone Junior High School, where students would go after completing fifth grade.
The existing Central Elementary was built in 1920 and is now in a prime commercial area, said Nancy Crandell, Sylvania schools spokesman. "It's not conducive to an elementary school any longer," she said. "We had to move for safety and security reasons."
Another change in the new building is situating lockers in the classrooms rather than the hallways.
This is important for two reasons, Mr. Bacho said. "In the elementary school, it works out a little better that way. It keeps the hallways more open and cleaner. It helps a little bit with supervision."
Future projects include developing the land behind the property into playing fields, baseball diamonds, and space for physical education classes.
Cost of the new is estimated at $13.5 million, which will be paid for through bonds approved in 2008.
Although the building has been designed to accommodate current and future Central Elementary students, Mr. Bacho said there may be room for expansion in coming years,
"It's not our most crowded school at this point, but it's pretty close," he said, speaking of the existing elementary school.
The Sylvania school system will take possession of the building on Dec. 16. It is expected that staff will be able to start moving in during winter break, which was made a week longer this year to accommodate the move.
The new school is at 4321 Mitchaw Rd.
With the move, Ms. Crandell said, the slight change in name will create synergy between the old and the new.
"It's to honor the tradition, but to look to the future," she said.