Construction and Facilities Updates

We are excited to launch this website as the hub to inform our students, staff and community members about the facilities initiative!  The passage of Issue #8 in November 2019 was the starting point to a multi-year process that will have a tremendous impact on our community for many years to come.   It is important to us that stakeholders have a voice and are informed every step of the way until the project's completion.  

Welcome, check back often, and please reach out if you have questions or feedback!

july 2023 update

The New High School Building

At the new high school, the precast floors have been placed to create the second level of classrooms along the front and east portions of the building. There is a 3-inch layer of concrete applied to connect all the precast floors together. The masons continue to add the walls to the second floor and around the building in areas such as the west wall of the gym and the portions of the building that are only one story tall. Steel continues to be added to work in conjunction with the overall masonry structure. Mechanical, electric and plumbing continue to follow the masons and have installed components as areas become available.

The Renovated High School Building Transformed into New Nolley

One thing you may not know is that there is plenty of work going on this summer to prepare the old high school into the new Nolley. The rooms on the west side of the building have been prepared for work to be accomplished next summer. Some rooms have the floors completely removed and other rooms have tile strips next to the walls removed that will be opened for larger classrooms next year. In the courtyard facing classrooms new windows have been installed. The windows that face north will be replaced as well. The wrestling room and locker rooms have been prepared for their transformation into kindergarten classrooms over the next summer. The bathrooms next to the gymnasium have been gutted and 4 individual stall bathrooms are in progress as I type this update. The boiler room has been prepared and the new boilers should be here by August. We are also installing a new hot water heater as well.

The Nimisila Building

The building has been completely demolished. The site has had dying trees, bushes, and sidewalks removed. The earth has been moved to level out the site as much as the spoils from the other projects will allow. The fill dirt has been moved first to fill in the larger hole left by the south side of the building. Then the topsoil has been applied to level out the site. Grass will be planted. Unfortunately, it will not be prudent to allow drivers to park there for football games. The ground will need time to stabilize. The remaining piles of fill dirt and topsoil will stay on site until they are needed to fill in the hole and level out the ground when Nolley is razed. The entire area will have fencing around the site.

Athletic Facilities

At the future stadium site, all of the asphalt has been poured. Forever Lawn has installed the new turf field. Portions of the fence have been installed around the track. In addition, the concrete around the ticket booth and leading up to the concession stands and restrooms continue to take shape. The block for the ticket booth has begun. The track surface will be installed after the 28 day cure period for the asphalt. The lights and temporary scoreboard will run off of a generator while we wait for electrical gear to arrive. These will be tested prior to the first soccer games. Please be reminded that the large bleachers have and continue to be a long lead-time item. Those bleachers have been ordered but will not arrive until the winter. We will be playing one more football season at James R. France stadium. We again thank you for your understanding and patience!

Field House

The new electric room is built. We have to wait for the electric gear. The openings for the restroom doors and concession stands are cut in. The frames for those openings have been installed. The concrete has been poured up to the concession stands and restroom. The privacy walls coming off of the bathroom doors have been built. This area will still function as a library until spring break of 2024, then the complete transformation will commence.

We hope you find these updates informative and helpful. The goal was to be as transparent as possible as we keep the community informed about the building project.

june 2023 update

The New High School Building 

At the new high school, the masonry walls continue to be installed.  Three gym walls are to max height and one interior wall as well.  Floors have been poured along the front (south of the building). Steel has been set into place where the first floors were poured.  In addition, the steel has been placed over the stage.  The walls to the front of the building are gaining height and the steel supports over the windows have been set.  In the area in the southwest corner of the building where the floors have been poured, the interior walls are going up and door frames have also been set.  Very soon the concrete will be poured to finish the floors along the front of the building and the stage will be poured very soon as well.  There is a trench running from the current high school to the new high school for technology fiber.  The wall will continue to be taken up to bearing height.  Steel will continue to be placed throughout June.   


The Renovated High School Building Transformed into New Nolley 

The GMP for the first phase of work will be executed in June.  Work on abating some areas in the building will occur this summer, including the boiler room, locker rooms, and wrestling room.  Also, there will be some classrooms where strips of tile next to the interior wall will be removed.  The boiler replacement is expected to begin mid-summer.  The windows on the north side of the building and in the courtyard are also on the schedule to be replaced.   


The Nimisila Building   

The building has been completely abated.  The demolition contractor is scheduled to begin demolition work mid-June.  The dirt has been stock piled and is ready to be used to fill the hole once the building is demolished and removed. 


Athletic Facilities 

Also, at the future stadium site, the field has all drainage systems installed.  The field has its first layer of the stone base installed.  At the time of the printing of this update, we are on time to turn over the field to Forever Lawn mid- June who will bring in another layer of fine stone before the installation of the turf.   Beaver construction has completed the interior concrete curb of the track and has poured many of the sidewalks around the exterior of the track and the remaining concrete work continues.  The light pole bases are installed and the light poles are expected to be delivered by mid-June. Expect traffic delays on Nimisila road on the day(s) that the light pole will be set on the bases.  There will be a stone base laid on the track, and in the D-zones by the time of this publication. (D-zones are the areas behind the end zones that are in the shape of a D).  The track and D-zone will have an asphalt base and then the track surfaces will be placed on them after a 30-day curing happens.  In order to save on costs, in the D-zones you will see a high jump area with track surface and a long jump and pole vault that runs on the other end with track surfaces.  There will be exposed asphalt surrounding those events in the D-zones. The bases for the bleachers have been installed on both sides of the field.  Please be reminded that bleachers are a long lead time item and we knew well in advance that these will not be here until much later after the field and track are installed and after soccer season begins.  Two steel columns for the future score board have been set past the west end of the track. 


Field House 

In order to save costs, we are utilizing the old Library at the high school to serve the stadium.  In this area, we will have locker rooms, concessions, restrooms, and some athletic storage.  (Please do not be alarmed, New Nolley will have a Media Center with a Library section).  However, this summer you will see penetrations into the existing wall for the restrooms and concessions.  The concrete will eventually meet up to the building sometime this summer.  Also, there is a temporary wall installed that cuts the library down in size, but it will allow for work to happen on the exterior.  In addition, a new electric room will be built this summer in order to be prepared when the electric service is ready. 


I hope you find these updates informative and helpful. The goal was to be as transparent as possible as we keep the community informed about the building project.  


Thank you to everyone who attended the town hall meeting about the building project on May 17th.   

MAy 2023 update

We would like to invite the community to a town hall meeting specifically about the building project on May 17, 2023 at 7:00 in the High School social studies complex. Members of the board, the architectural team, the construction team, and the administration will give a state of the building project update to the community. Hope to see you there.

Until then, here is an update by project location:

The New High School Building

At the new high school, all of the footers have been poured and all walls on site are at a couple blocks high around the building. I have learned that the tallest walls are assembled first. So, in the gymnasium the walls are 14ft high at this time. The stage and ramps in the cafetorium also have been poured. The main plumbing line has been installed and tested. The work branching off of the main plumbing line continues at the time of writing this update, specifically the classroom side of the building. The electricians have their main conduit feeds running into the main electrical room. They are following the masons, so as the mason finishes a wall the electric conduits and electrical boxes are being installed. Over the next few weeks masonry walls will continue to go up and some preparation work for installation of the concrete floors at ground level will occur.

The Renovated High School Building Transformed into New Nolley

The new boilers have been bid. Those bids are being vetted at the time of this submission. The design development documents have been made for the scope of the work. The design team has been working with the construction team to open up spaces to work towards comparable size classrooms based on grade levels, programming, logistical, and construction constraints. The walls for the upgraded electric service to the building will be built this coming week.

The Nimisila Building

Thank you again to anyone who bought or shared the auction information. The auction helped clear the Nimisila building. In addition, Evan Kotsalieff, Jim Gillig, and Aaron Fincham along with a moving company have been tirelessly working to clear the building for abatement. At this time, the abatement company has begun the process of abating the North wing of the building. On the South half of the building, the entire upstairs is clear. We are still working, at the time of this Panthers telegram, to clear the cafeteria and gymnasium of the rest of the necessary materials by May 1st. If you have driven by,

you will see two mountains of dirt. The dirt will be used once the building is razed to fill in the hole that will be left. One positive of condensing the timeline to the project is that the dirt from the athletic facilities site has a close, convenient, and purposeful location.

Athletic Facilities

At the April 11 zoning appeals meeting a variance was granted, provided that safety conditions were satisfied. At this time, those safety conditions are still being examined. Also, at the future stadium site, the field has been taken down to subgrade, leveled and rolled. The old drainage system has been removed and replaced with new. In addition, an underground water retention system has been installed under what would be the home sidelines of the projected turf field. At this time, three-fourths of the storm structures and associated piping has been installed. These structures encircle the exterior of the track. Beaver construction has begun excavating, forming, and pouring the interior concrete curb of the track. The electrician is installing electric conduit throughout the stadium site. The light pole bases will be installed the week of May 1st. The concrete work will continue in preparation for the stone sub-base for the installation of the turf. Please be reminded that bleachers are a long lead time item and we knew well in advance that these will not be here until much later after the field and track are installed.

Thank you to everyone who cast a ballot on the May 2nd general election. We are blessed to have the freedom to vote and it should never be taken for granted. Until the next update or if you are available to attend the town hall meeting about the building project. Please feel free to contact us about building project inquiries.

MARCH 2023 update

Thank you so much for your patience as we have been working on the building project for around 3 years. Much of the work up to this point had been planning and budgeting. We are excited for the community to begin to see the physical work around the projects. Thank you to everyone who participated or shared the information about the auction. 

Here is a quick summary of the progress of work at each site. At the new high school, the rebar is here and footers have begun. The work started at the stage wall and now they are working around the gym. The mason has mobilized and will begin constructing walls once the footers are far enough along. At the stadium site the demolition of the concession stand, press box, and pavilion has occurred. The workers are now stripping topsoil and we are storing the topsoil at the Nimisila property. Some of the track asphalt and concrete has been removed and more of that work will continue. The precast storm structure has been delivered as well as the underground water retention system. The anticipated abatement activity begins in the north half of the Nimisila building in April. Demolition of Nimisila will occur over the summer. For the renovation of the high school into new Nolley we will be bidding for various upgrades to the building in the next six weeks, such as boilers and work associated with that upgrade.

Eventually in these reports, we will be transitioning from reporting about what happens in meetings less, and instead we will be able to report more on the work accomplished. 

February 21st

We discussed the elementary building conversion. The meetings that we had with the faculty at Nolley on February 16th and the feedback provided will be used in the design development phase which begins with developing detailed plans for each classroom. We also discussed portions of the athletic facility. We revisited the necessity for the underground stormwater system. Also, the stadium project was conditionally approved on February 9 at the planning and zoning commission meeting. Items that needed further clarification were the away bleachers, parking, and a concern as it relates to the corner of Nimisila and Renninger and the position of the stadium. Also, the food service director met with the FMD to further clarify the kitchen layout and equipment.

February 23rd

Pre-bid meeting occurred for the demolition of the Nimisila building.

February 28th

Clarification meeting with Shook occurred to clarify the scope of work contained within the proposed stadium Guaranteed Maximum Price (GMP).

March 6th

We had another core team meeting. Decisions were made about the turf field, lighting, bleachers, track, fill areas and walkway. The variance needed was discussed. We also talked about the existing elementary pavers. FMD surveyed the classroom at Nolley and were doing the same at the high school in order to assess what teachers have now and what will be needed at the new elementary school.

March 15th

Scope review of the bids to do the work to abate and demolish Nimisila. A look at these bids allows us to report that this portion of the project came in relatively on budget.

In the last Panther Telegram, we outlined how we were approaching the financial constraints on the project. We indicated that we have pursued various other funding sources that would not cost taxpayers any additional money. Manchester has applied for some grants over the past year and a half. We did receive one for $156,000. This grant money will be used to upgrade the PA systems and the fob security systems in New Nolley and the Middle School and additional bus cameras. We did apply for the NFL grassroots turf grant for $250,000; however, Manchester Local was not selected as the recipient. When additional information about funding sources that we have pursued occurs, we will share the results with you at that time. We will continue to pursue all of the promises to the best our ability for the students and community.

february 2023 UPDATE

All of the underground work for the new high school is completed. We have trenched through from the road to the new school for electrical and technology fiber and have completed drilling for the wells to serve the building. Once the weather breaks you will see the footers begin and very shortly the track will close (near Feb. 16th) and site work will begin on the turf field and track. The turf field will be ready by the start of school. One item that has an extremely long lead time is bleachers. Thus, we will have one more football season at James R. France Stadium. On the Nimisila property, we have begun the process of clearing the way for the Nimisila building to be razed. Conex boxes are on site to store what we need to save. An auction will occur for equipment, tools, scoreboards, buses, and Manchester Memorabilia, etc. This will be advertised through KiKo auctioneers and it is scheduled to begin on March 16, 2023. It will be an on-line auction. Once the auction is completed and individuals have collected their memories, equipment, new & vintage items, we will continue to clear the build in order for it to be abated. The plan is to have the Nimisila building razed toward the beginning of the summer of 2023.

Let me take a moment to be transparent with you about finances, as we have been all along. I do not want anyone to be misinformed or to have any doubt about our approach. We have completed the process for the GMP, and we have landed 27.1% over budget. We are NOT going to ask the community for more money toward the project. The bond issue passed in 2019 is the money that we have designated toward the project. So, you may be asking, “how will the district make up the difference in order to cover the cost of a 27% increase?” 

Here is the answer to the question: We have asked the state for more money, we have had to reduce some of the items we hoped to do, and we are seeking alternative funding as appropriate. As it relates to the state, we have secured through many appeals an increase in the state’s contribution towards the project. The state will contribute their 44% of the over budget portion cost up to a cap of 21.5%. This translates into around a 3 million dollar increase. As it relates to reducing some of the items, this continues to be our approach, that we tighten our belt and be fiscally responsible with the taxpayers’ dollars. Our focus has been to deliver the promises made to the voters back in 2019 to the best of our ability in spite of the inflation we all have experienced lately. These are the items we have identified that we hope to accomplish: a new high school, a new stadium with a turf field and a new track, a wrestling/weight room near the new high school, the Nimisila building razed, conversion of the old high school into New Nolley, and razing Nolley Elementary. There had to be some items that we could not deliver. One of those items is that an on-campus baseball field will not happen. Instead we made the decision to expand the field behind the Middle School to serve as the field for our baseball teams. Another concession, pun intended, is that instead of the original plan for a separate building for concessions, locker rooms and restrooms at the new stadium, we will use the library portion of the old High School and place those needed facilities there. (Please don’t worry, New Nolley will still have a Library/Media Center.) I share these items so that you understand the overall view of how we are proceeding with fiscal responsibility. We must also consider how much and how many renovations we have the finances to accomplish. Some items may have to be delayed. In addition, we are exploring alternative funding sources that do not require anything more from the taxpayers. If these alternative funding sources occur, we will share them.

Events following the last entry on December 5th, 2022:

December 19th, 2022

In this meeting we received a summary of the bids on the high school portion of the project. We discussed the timeline of the Nimisila building demolition. We also worked on getting the budget amendment to the budget committee on time. During the locally funded portions of the project we discussed the field and confirmed the design. The press box and scoreboard were discussed as well.

January 9th, 2023

During this meeting we received information about items with long lead times. Electrical switchgear has been taking about 52 weeks from order to delivery and HVAC equipment around 36 weeks. It was during this meeting that we were informed that the building project would land at 27.1% over budget. Our OFCC representative informed us that the budget committee approved the amendment and that we were trying to get on the January Commission for confirmation. As it relates to the local projects, we are in the process of an energy audit at the current high school and are proceeding with plans to replace the old boilers with new and move to a better energy efficiency with new control systems. In the field house portion, we discussed a necessary electrical room in the design. We also discussed the placement of the track field events locations in the d-zone, as well as the camera locations. The team also considered the Elementary playground and how it fits onto the site. At this meeting the team decided that the OFCC portion of the project will be discussed on the first Monday of the month, but the local project will still be discussed every two weeks.

January 18th

This meeting was an all-day event at the board office to finalize the GMP for the new high school building. It included costs, timeline, and scope of the work to be accomplished as it relates to the new high school project.

January 20th

A meeting occurred to review the existing boilers and pumps and work is progressing on obtaining permit documents for a new boiler and pump system. During the same meeting, more roles and responsibilities for the energy audit were discussed. The audit is expected to be completed by March 1st.

January 23rd

This meeting was specifically about the local projects. We covered the Jan 20 meeting with everyone. The fieldhouse and stadium CD submittal occurred. We discussed the underground detention system and the request for the playground at New Nolley to be fenced in.

February 2nd

We had a Manchester only meeting to discuss the latest LFI developments to make sure we were unified going into our February 6th meeting. We needed to revisit the status of the driveway between Nolley and the soccer stadium along with the pavilion, the high school library, the retention system proposed at the stadium, and the current news about abatement work throughout the project.

February 6th

We had a core team meeting with all parties to discuss multiple phases of the project. During the OFCC portion we targeted a March 20 date for a GMP on the demolition of the Nimisila building. In the local projects we needed our questions and concerns addressed that we had generated from our February 2nd meeting. We also discussed mobilizing the sitework at the stadium and track. This will mean closure of the track will happen very soon.

We hope that this update encourages you in knowing how the project is progressing.

ONE VERY IMPORTANT REMINDER - Please be informed that there is a renewal levy on the ballot for May. This is a renewal of a levy for operating cost. This is NOT for the building project. This levy is NOT a new tax. This levy is NOT an increase in tax. It is critical that voters in this community understand these truths.


As you can see behind the High School the site work is proceeding and much has transpired since the last update.  The following will be a summary of progress from our last entry on October 10th until now. 


October 21st - The team continued to finish the architectural page-turn through the rest of the systems in the building. 


October 27th - The core team had a zoom meeting to finish discussing the proposed solution to the fire suppression/water tank placement and the constructability issue for the underground tanks.  This was first shared on October 3rd.  After the discussion and confirmation on Oct 27th, then Addendum 01/Bulletin 02 was issued on Oct 28th moving the tanks from an underground location to a ground level placement in a room behind the gymnasium. 


November 3rd - Addendum 02/Bulletin 03 was issued to further clarify the Kitchen systems. 


November 7th - Core Team Meeting - This was a shorter meeting about the New High School due to the fact that the Final bids were coming in on 11/11. The team also discussed the benefits of coordinating the demolition of the Nimisila School building earlier in the timeline of the project. The remainder of the meeting was focused on the Elementary Conversion and the Athletic Projects.  The core team discussed keeping as much parking on site as possible, specifically the parking to the northeast of Nolley.  In terms of future planning, not necessarily part of this project due to the effects of inflation on this project, what to do with the property where the Nolley building currently stands.  In addition, future meetings to learn about artificial turf and bleachers were requested.  The timeline for the work on the stadium was discussed with work being scheduled for March if the weather would cooperate.  The field would be ready for a soccer season, however, the delay in being able to get bleachers will allow one more football season to be played at James R. France Stadium. 


November 21st - Bids were in, but still needed to be scope reviewed.  Our e-rate consultant met with the team to identify possible savings in technology equipment.  As part of the plan to raze Nimisila the district explored the use of Conex boxes for temporary use at the Nimisila property, but the Conex boxes would be then concealed under the new home side bleachers once the bleachers would be built. 


November 23rd - Manchester’s team met with representatives to learn about bleachers and turf.  In addition, the layout of the stadium was discussed including the dimensions of how the field would fit inside the track. 


December 2nd - The Manchester core team took site visits to a few schools to see the different turf products, hear from the owners, see how the fields have aged, and how the maintenance and service is for each of these turf fields. 


December 5th - The core team met.  Shook provided a summary of where the bids came in relative to the overall budget, which was very close to the estimate.  Shook informed the team that a few of the bids needed to be still scope reviewed in order to clarify that all the work was priced into the bid number.  Since some of those bids are yet to be awarded.  I will have to wait until the next telegram to share more.  The layout for the turf field was discussed a little further as well. 


We hope you have had an opportunity to peer behind the high school to the construction site.  You may be curious to know that at this point around 45% of the underground work has been completed and 80% of the stone used for temporary driveways and parking has been placed.  We also received word from Ohio Edison that the duct work for the electrical lines, which will go up through the parking lot, can be shared with the necessary technology lines also.  The well driller will mobilize on December 12th.   

October 2022 Update:

We have appreciated your patience, as we know you have been waiting so long since the passage of the bond issue back in 2019, to see some tangible evidence that the district is making progress on the construction project.  You have seen the evidence in front and behind Manchester High School that the site work has begun, as well as the installation of a temporary parking lot in front of the high school.  We continue to ask that you exercise patience as we expect inconveniences.  We are so excited about the building projects and what they will bring to the young people in this community.  Here is a recap of what has transpired from August until now in the next few paragraphs.

August 8 - We had the core team meeting.  Shook Construction gave an update of the early bid packages.  The due date for the remainder of the early bid packages was August 10th.  As a reminder, early bid packages included the early site work, well drilling and water testing, concrete, masonry, steel, roofing, exterior glazing, mechanical units and electrical (switchgear and panels).  At the time of the meeting, Shook was in the process of scope review meetings.  Early in the day, part of the core team met with the architect to provide input on the Hall of Fame and reviewed the design through a 3D model.  It was decided that the staff would see the 3D model during the convocation day.  The team revisited the parking conundrum and were also presented with the SD cost model for two of the Locally Funded Projects - The wrestling/weight room and the field house.

August 22 - The core team met.  The early site work package came in at $150,000 less than the estimate.  Temporary parking solutions were presented.  Most of the meeting time was spent on the completed SD cost model for the remaining LFI projects.  The team discussed the six-month time frame to build the wrestling/weight room and the time frame to start the work on the stadium work.  It was estimated that the work could start in March; weather permitting.  The elementary school layout was revisited to complete previous discussion on the clinic, media center, and the space surrounding the field house.

September 1 - On this date we had a full day facilitated GMP meeting for the first 40% of the project. This 43-page document was carefully discussed, items were eliminated, clarified and added through this whole day session.  So that all parties are, in agreement as to what is included in this portion of the project and what parts would be included in the second and final GMP.  It is anticipated that the second GMP will be facilitated in January.  Also, on this date I received notification that the new high school address will be 407 W. Nimisila Rd.

September 7 - We held a finishes meeting in the Board Office to discuss exterior and interior finishes.

September 9 - GMP follow-up, coordination and review meeting was held via zoom.

September 13 - The City of New Franklin Planning and Zoning approved a variance needed.  This was forwarded to Summit Soil and Water for processing.  

September 18 - The community was invited to the groundbreaking ceremony.  It was our desire that the event be community focused.  The invitation included the clause “to bring your shovel.”  So many came with shovels in hand and others came to watch.  It was an exciting day to get things moving in anticipation of opening the first new school since 1974.

September 19 - The very next day the Core Team met.  Both the architects and construction managers pointed out that it was the largest crowd they had seen in a long time at a ground-breaking ceremony and the most engaging.  Much of this meeting we spent listening to a potential problem located on the north wall of the gymnasium.  This is the location for two tanks that will be underground.  We listened as the design teams shared what the problems may be and the potential solutions to be explored.  The LFI will be in a hold phase until the 100% CD documents for the High School project are submitted.  It is the architects plan to have the stadium drawings complete, as well as, the HVAC and electrical upgrade plans between October and December.  Also, they would have designed the Kindergarten restrooms, basic renovation, and other non-long lead time items designed between January and March.

October 3 - On this date the core team met.  The issue of the underground tanks was discussed again. The architects and engineers were still working on the solution.  One dilemma with the retractable seating was brought up that would reduce the seating capacity.  The team provided input about what would be acceptable and what would not.  The next few days following the meeting a solution was found.  Also, there was discussion that it would be necessary to discuss demolition of Nimisila School sooner rather than later.  If this work could be done earlier, there would be cost savings.

October 10 - The team met to look at the 100% CD documents for each system of the project.  We were unable to finish in the time allotted so the remaining systems will be examined on Oct 21st.

October 21 - The core team once again met to complete the "page-turn" of specific documents and finalize aspects of furniture, design and finishes.

As you can see, plenty of work has been accomplished since the last update.  You will continue to see site work behind the high school.  Please note the last entrance at the high school is now for access to the construction site.  The temporary parking is now functioning in front of the high school.  I would ask that everyone be careful as we get used to the new normal in traffic patterns at the high school.  Go Panthers!

July 2022 Update:


The last entry on the previous update was on May 31, 2022 and there has been much that transpired over the summer.  This update will attempt to capture the most significant items that have transpired.  When the summer started I thought we would be announcing when a groundbreaking ceremony would occur.  However, in mid-June we took another punch in the stomach from inflation.  In the next paragraphs you will read where we are in the project and the difficulties that the district faces, including whether it is wise to continue under these unstable market conditions.  Being careful with community money is very important to the district.  As is delivering to the community the promises made are of equal importance.  Our updates have been on-going to provide as much transparency as possible in light of the shifting conditions.  


June 6, 2022 - We had a core team meeting.  On our to-do list was to make sure that by 6/15, Shook would get the reconciled DD estimate and files to Karen Little, our OFCC case manager, so that she could get us on the OFCC Budget Committee meeting agenda on 6/21.  Karen said she had the Budget Adjustment Request Summary spreadsheet and we would meet to put in the numbers and we would be ready.  We had preliminary numbers on the DD estimate and the cost was back up to 23.5% over budget.  However, that did not tell the whole story - more on that later in the update.  Also, we discussed if we could hit these dates, then the School Board could approve the DD phase submission on 6/30.  We discussed dates for groundbreaking, the importance of ordering electrical equipment in the early site package and well drilling.  On the local portions of the project - FMD has moved forward with updated schematic layouts for the fieldhouse, stadium, and weight room/wrestling room.  


June 10 - By this date, we had also compared the (Jan) SD estimate to the new (June) DD estimate to see where the bulk of the cost increases were.  Costs for everything was up - especially under the categories: concrete, equipment, technology, and electric. 


June 14 - We received a cost estimate for the design development phase of the project from Shook.  However, the realization of what that actually translated into was not fully understood until Wednesday.


June 15 - Shook hosted a walkthrough for early site bidders at 8:00am at the north side of the high school parking lot.  This served as a chance for bidders to ask questions to FMD, Lewis Land, and Shook, and for Shook to gauge bidder interest.  Later that afternoon, Karen Little, Dave Kleckner and Shaun Morgan met via google team to put in the number into the Budget Adjustment Request Summary spreadsheet.  The punch came after putting the number in the spreadsheet which revealed that the district would need just under 4 million more dollars committed to the New High School portion of the  project.  The state’s share towards the project increased 2.5 million dollars as well.  Immediately this news was shared with members of the core team.  We planned to meet Friday, June 17 in the afternoon to discuss options - inflation had struck hard from January till June. 


June 17 - Manchester core team only.  We met and went over the increased costs to build the new high school.  We reviewed our highest five priorities for the LFI parts of the project.  Those items are Bathrooms at New Nolley, Field House, New Nolley’s HVAC/Heating systems, Stadium Project, and Weight room/Wrestling Room next to the new high school.  Based on the projected new numbers to build the new high school and how much of the bond issued money it would take, that leaves some very difficult decisions for the core team to make.  The group discussed if prices to build continue to rise at the rate from January to June, then it may cause the district to abandon plans to build the new high school and go in another direction.  We also discussed which of the 5 LFI priorities was first on our list, which one was last, and which ones we could do at a later time.  This was a difficult discussion and it is certainly not enjoyable to try to pick the best option out of undesirable choices.  Our next regular core team meeting was scheduled for June 20.  We would inform all the rest of the core team about our discussion at the June 20th meeting.  In addition, we were informed that we were pulled from the OFCC budget committee meeting scheduled for June 21st and rescheduled for July 5th.


June 20 - The core team met.  The first part of the meeting was about what work needed to be adjusted to get us on the July 5th OFCC Budget Committee Agenda.  The district informed FMD, Shook and the OFCC that if prices continued to rise like this, we would be willing to stop the project and go in a different direction.  We let them know that we are not willing to sacrifice the financial stability of this district which would compromise our primary mission: to educate children and prepare them for their future!  Shook responded to this revelation with the following thoughts.  They believe that they will be able to deliver the new high school and most of the items on the priority list.  However, this belief is contingent on no further escalations of cost.  The only way to know if that is possible is to get actual bids.  So, in the meeting the OFCC finally gave permission to Shook to get actual bids as a way to get known costs.  Those bids would be a couple months away.  So, we are forced to wait cautiously and proceed with plans to keep the timeline alive, all the while knowing that we are approaching a teetering point in the project.


June 24 - OFCC, Shook, FMD, and the District met to revisit the number that caused all of this back on June 15.  We are currently estimated to be 22.99% over budget.  The state will pay their 44% of all co-funded costs up to 21.4% over budget.  The money to cover the difference is coming out of our LFI projects (athletic stadium and renovation of current high school into elementary school.)  This confirmed our previously stated position that we will have to wait for bid numbers to come back to know where we stand.

July 5-7 - Manchester project was reviewed by the OFCC Budget Committee on July 5th.  Email exchanges over these three days occurred to complete the adjustments and reviews of the Design Development Phases.  This work occurred to meet the OFCC budget committee recommendations in order to get items in place for the next NOI letter.  This is the letter that commits the state to their 44% of the applicable cost overages on the new high school project.  


July 11 - We had a core team meeting.  We discussed that the early bids represent approximately 50% of the total project in both scope and cost.  They include site work, well drilling, water testing, concrete, masonry, steel, roofing, glazing, mechanical units, and electrical equipment.  The site work bids are the only bids that are already in, and are said to be in line with the estimates.  The remaining bids are due August 5th.  The district was provided a complete list of bidders and has the right to accept or reject any or all bids. Eventually we will be able to work on a GMP for around 50% of the project according to the OFCC and Shook.  This would allow us to know if the project was on track to be on budget and might give some insight into the cost for the other 50%.  We have a tentative GMP meeting scheduled on September 1st.  This led to a discussion about having a September ground-breaking ceremony.  This is currently the thought as we cautiously move forward with the project; however, we must patiently wait on bid results.


July 12 - We had a programming meeting to fine tune the office areas of New Nolley.  Much time was spent on thinking through how the current space would be used to best serve the elementary students.  A few adjustments were presented and the architect will be completing the SD phase for New Nolley at the end of July.


July 25 - We had a core team meeting.  Based on the space needed for construction, parking at the high school will have reduced spaces making parking more difficult and currently we are exploring temporary solutions.


As you can see, we continue to cautiously move forward with the project.  I hope this update is helpful and gives you a transparent look into what has been happening with the project.  In addition, as I have previously mentioned, when construction begins please understand that there will be inconveniences that will occur.  We apologize for these in advance and appreciate your understanding as we move forward.


Exterior of new high school

Construction team members take part in the Eco-charrette with FMD, Shook and OFCC reps.

Project Timeline

2023 - There will be fewer administrative updates as construction progresses.  The core team continues to meet with Shook, FMD and OFCC representatives on a bi-weekly basis.

It is also exciting to see the physical progress as the building takes shape and stadium work begins!

Sept. 18, 2022 - Groundbreaking

Sept. 1, 2022 - GMP #1 Work Session

June - July 2022 - Meetings with OFCC, FMD and Shook continue to address estimates, bids, potential overages, and work through the DD phase of the project.

April 27, 2022 - Core team meeting to prioritize LFI components 

April 12, 2022 - Public meeting at MHS

March 2022 - OFCC gives NOI to proceed, agreeing to fund their portion of budget as long as project adheres to manual minimums.

February 28, 2022 - Trees are cleared on HS site!

January - February 2022 - District team, architects and construction team working with the OFCC to present data to Ohio Budget Committees to address shortfall, needs due to inflation, supply chain issues and labor costs.

December 6, 2021 - Schematic Redesign

December 2, 2021 - Public meeting with construction team and school board, 6:30 p.m. at MHS 

November 3, 2021 - Sale of Bonds

October 8, 2021 - Core team meeting with OFCC, FMD, and Shook with Project Management Consultant.

September, 2021 - Bi-weekly meetings begin for Core Team with FMD, Shook and OFCC reps; proceeding with Eco-charrette and design planning.

August 23, 2021 - Construction "Kickoff" meeting between FMD, Shook, OFCC and school representatives.

August, 2021 - Shook Construction selected as CMR for the high school project

July, 2021 - Construction Managers shortlisted and interviewed.  Program design and planning begins with staff and architect teams.

June 22, 2021 - FMD Architects approved as architects

June 2021 - Architect selection process, followed by CMR selection process

April 2021 - Funding approved by OFCC

January 2021 - Transition back to CFAP 

October 2020 - Transition to Expedited Local Partnership Program (ELPP)

Delays due to pandemic

March 11, 2020 - POSTPONED Public meeting with administration and school board, 6:30 at MHS 

Feb. 19 - March 11, 2020 - District team members tour Tallmadge, East Canton, Woodridge schools

Feb. 13, 2020 - Board work session with Superintendent

Feb. 11, 2020 - HS team tour of Mogadore fieldhouse / athletic facilities

Feb. 3, 2020 – Superintendent, Treasurer and Board members meet with FMD and OFCC Official to initiate timelines

Feb. 2020 - Building meetings with staff to begin educational vision planning

Jan. 23, 2020 - Core team members site tour of Streetsboro schools

Jan. 21, 2020 - Board / Administrator work session; discussion of building plans and potential committees

Jan. 8, 2020 - Regular Board meeting, the Letter of Agreement between Manchester Local School District and FMD Architects, Inc. was discussed and tabled

Dec. 2019 - Jan. 2020 - Architect measurements and surveying at MHS for remodeling considerations 

Dec. 16, 2019 - Board work session with district Admin team to discuss planning process 

Nov. 20, 2019 - Board work session with OFCC consultant.  Establish overview and process.  Funding may not get cleared from state until July 2020

Nov. 5, 2019 - Passage of Bond Issue