The Highland Board of Education approved the purchase of two land parcels at the June 25 regular meeting -- one for the new Hinckley Elementary School and the other for the new Sharon Elementary School. Both properties are located on Ridge Road.
The board approved spending $800,000 for the vacant Hinckley property (21.7 acres), located approximately one-half mile north of Route 303; and $645,519 for the Sharon property (48 acres), located approximately one mile south of Sharon Circle (the former Western Reserve Golf Course).
According to Superintendent Catherine Aukerman, “The Board's original intention was to build on or near our current sites. However, our current sites are less than perfect from a size perspective for new schools. Knowing these schools will serve the community for the next 50 years, the Board has worked to find land that is a better alternative to our current sites. Our elementary schools now sit on approximately 8 acres, whereas the OFCC recommends 16 acres for new elementary schools. While we could build on the current sites, it would not be optimal for separating bus traffic from parent traffic, for overall layout of buildings, etc. The ideal scenario is still to build all three schools simultaneously as that would give us the greatest economy of scale.”
The architects and the construction management team have been on the property for new Granger Elementary School, which was approved in May and located on Wilbur Road, and have been conducting soil tests and land surveys in preparation for construction.
“We’ve already started the programming requirements and have had discussions with teachers about the important aspects of the interiors of the schools, number of sections and so on. It’s really been a collaborative effort with our staff and community to this point and we want to continue to involve the community and learn about what kind of schools do they envision.”