Anna BOE approves permanent temporary space

By Patricia Ann Speelman -

ANNA — Anna Local Schools will build a permanent building for temporary classrooms to be used during its $20 million renovation project.

The Board of Education met in special session, Sunday, May 28, and voted to create swing space in a facility that will continue to serve the district after the renovations are complete.

When work on a school forces students out of classrooms, the temporary places they move into are known as swing spaces. The Anna board considered several possibilities, including leasing space, renting trailers and asking the state to construct swing space. According to Denny Raberding, of Anna Local Schools, the best option, the board decided, was to put up a permanent building.

“This made the most sense in terms of logistics and safety of the students,” he told the Sidney Daily News, Tuesday. “The state allows $481,000 for swing space. We got permission to build a permanent building instead. (The cost) cannot exceed $790,000.” No additional funds have to be raised for the structure. It will be paid for from the monies already allocated as part of the $20 million cost of the renovation.

The board approved an emergency resolution Sunday to contract with Wells Brothers to do the swing space work. The firm will break ground in July and the 9,700-square-foot building should be ready to move into during the school system’s Christmas break in December. It will be a steel building with some brick on it, have 10 classrooms and restrooms and be handicapped accessible.

The new facility will sit north of the high school and south of the library, Raberding said. He noted that the classrooms would not house the same classes all the time. As renovation of the existing school progresses, students will move in and out of the swing space as necessary to accommodate work schedules.

“When (the renovation’s) over with, we’ll have something,” Raberding said. At that point, walls that framed classrooms in the swing space will be taken out and the building will be used for something else.

“We’re allowed to use it for anything except classrooms,” Raberding said. It may house a weight room, because the current one will be eliminated in the renovations.

“We’re also going to tear down several garages and the grange building over a several-year period,” Raberding added. So, the swing space could become storage space for the school’s maintenance department.

By Patricia Ann Speelman

Reach the writer at 937-538-4824.

Reach the writer at 937-538-4824.