The first inside peek at Fairfield’s new Freshman School reveals an expansive learning facility radically different from its mid- 20th century predecessor.
Wide hallways, high-tech features, open and airy learning centers and architectural flourishes that retain literally parts of the old Freshman School now headed for a wrecking ball.
The school, which is being built on the Fairfield High School campus, boasts a giant entrance atrium that includes limestone carvings of figures learning, playing sports and other school activities.
The school now taking shape and scheduled to open in early September is part of an historic $80 million new school building project that will also see two new elementaries — Central and Compass open at the same time for the Butler County school system.
Building and opening three new schools simultaneously is a rarity among Southwest Ohio school districts and the director of business operations for the 9,000-student district said all three schools are on time and on budget with a chance to finish under budget.
“They are scheduled for substantial completion by the end of June,” said Tom Weiser.
“As they start finishing the projects (with inspections) we can start moving things and be prepared for school to start,” said Weiser.
Next week Fairfield will begin to tear down its old Freshman School and the adjacent Central Elementary, which is the second oldest school building in Butler County.
The new Freshman School will sport the latest in theatre and auditorium facilities, which Weiser said will also be used by students at the adjacent high school.
“It’s been very exciting,” he said.
The superintendent of Fairfield Schools agreed.
“As we get closer to the opening of three new buildings, we can feel the excitement rising in our community,” said Fairfield Schools’ leader Billy Smith.
“We are so proud to have the opportunity to open three new schools for our staff and students. In addition, we are so thankful for the support that we have received from our community,” said Smith.
Classes at Fairfield Schools will be starting later than normal for the 2017-2018 school year due to the construction. Usually classes start in mid-to-late August, but for the coming school year they will begin Sept. 5.