ANSONIA — The Ansonia Preschool/Athletic Fieldhouse was the scene of a public open house and ribbon cutting Monday evening.
An open ceremony was held an hour before inside the facility with Superintendent Jim Atchley extending accolades to those who made it possible, whether it be those involved in the construction, donors who are providing the finances and volunteers who have taken part in its existence.
“This program started two years ago,” he said. “We had the groundbreaking on Oct. 12, 2018.”
He said it was Brittany Price of Bruns Construction who came up with the design for the building.
‘It’s an awesome facility,” the superintendent said. “We see light at the end of the tunnel.”
He went on to introduce others in attendance, including Steve Elston (project manager) and Bill Kanney with Bruns; Mike Henderson, the consultant with Mote and Associates; the school’s maintenance men Rob Grilliot and Cody Wynks; and Joey Schmitmeyer and Kenny Young and their sons for the work they did on the 140-foot sidewalk outside.
School Board President Ron Barga II said the fund-raising for the project started in July 2018, with a goal of $500,000, and received more than $556,000 in commitments, 112 percent of the goal.
“Year to date donations received have been $348,646,” he said. “Seventy-one local businesses and individuals stepped up.”
Serving on the fund drive committee were: Ron Barga II, Joey Schmitmeyer, Jim Atchley, Matt Macy, Aliana Clymer, Mike Henderson,
Rhonda Setser, Daryl Riffle, Amy Shellhaas and Steve Burns.
It was noted that the estimated cost of the project is just a little more than $3 million, with 85 percent funded by the district.
High School Principal Jim Robson spoke and honored Anne Cox, former superintendent, who hired him 23 years ago. He also talked about the donor plaques that are on display in the hallways.
“I will put Jim Atchley, our superintendent, up against any others in Ohio,” Robson said. “He was a calming force in this storm.”
It was then that he reported that the hallway would be named for Atchley, with Barga presenting the superintendent with the plaque.
“We have two great principals and a great collaborative leadership,” the Atchley said in his acceptance speech.
With that done, a ribbon-cutting ceremony was held outside the front door prior to the two-hour open house.
The Ansonia Preschool features 7,296 square feet of classrooms, two restrooms per room and a storage closet, moving the entire preschool program under one roof and ending the need for the preschool to rent the basement of the Ansonia Methodist Church.
This new facility also frees up three classrooms within the current elementary/high school building providing the additional space for K-12 students and teachers’ needs.
It also increases from a maximum of 95 preschoolers to 110.
The athletic fieldhouse is a 14,800 square-foot state-of-the-art facility housing home and visitor locker rooms with a restroom and showers.
There will be a regulation size basketball and two volleyball courts, one permanent batting cage, three sprint lanes 100 feet long and 20-feet exterior walls to accommodate indoor pole vault. The weight-lifting /conditioning area will double the size of the current weight room.
The new fieldhouse will now be where football, softball, baseball, golf cheerleading and track teams can have the space and resources they deserve to better develop their skills.
The athletic director’s office will be moved to the field house next to the locker rooms.