Blanks to attend groundbreaking for new high schoolWritten by Brandi Barhite | Community Ombudsman | email@example.com
Editor’s note: Toledo Free Press will follow the Blank family of Millbury for one year as they rebuild their lives after a June 5 tornado destroyed their Main Street home.
The Blank family is planning to attend the March 27 groundbreaking ceremony for the new Lake High School.
The 2 p.m. event will have special meaning for the Blanks who lost their home in the same June 5 tornado that destroyed the high school. Casey Blank will start his senior year at the new school when it opens in August 2012.
“It feels good because it means we can move on and rebuild the school that we have all dreamed of,” Casey said.
As part of the ceremony, the Lake High School band and choir will perform. Casey sings bass for the choir.
Ed said he and his wife will return from a trip in time for the groundbreaking. They wouldn’t miss it.
“It is another phase of the rebuild for the community,” Ed said. “It just goes to show that progress is being made everywhere.”
The groundbreaking will feature remarks from school officials, the construction company Rudolph|Libbe and the architectural firm The Collaborative. The groundbreaking will be special for Rudolph|Libbe, which is located in Lake Township.
“It does mean a lot to us, we are a township resident,” said Gary Haas, vice president of Rudolph|Libbe. “It is going to be a very historic event for Lake.”
Haas has been involved with the project almost since the beginning. He thinks students like Casey will enjoy the “campus concept” of the design and the spattering of Lake’s blue and white colors throughout the building.
The new high school will be slightly larger than the old one. At 144,350 square feet, the building will include 34 classrooms, a media center and a multipurpose cafeteria that can serve as a gym. The school will also feature a gym with 1,800 arena-style seats, a 500-seat auditorium, as well as centralized administrative and district offices. The campus feel will be reinforced with a concession building and football locker rooms near the field.
The project is also environmentally friendly. The building will be constructed over the old footprint to reduce impact to the site. Low-flow plumbing fixtures will be installed in the school to reduce energy use.
The $25.5 million project is set to start this month with a finish date in August 2012. Haas said passersby will see work being done as early as March 28.
A lot of people don’t realize how much work it took to get to this point, in particular with the insurance issues of losing a school to a tornado.
“I have so much respect for the administration,” Haas said. “Nobody takes a course in Tornado 101.”