COVENTRY TWP. The new Coventry High School is officially open.
Hundreds of community members gathered Aug. 19 to walk through the halls of the new $21 million school for the first time. Before people had the chance to check out the new school, a few speakers spoke about how the project came to be.
Superintendent Russell Chaboudy thanked the taxpayers for approving the bond issue to make the project happen. He thanked a long list of people including C.T. Taylor construction manager Matt Collier.
"I cannot begin to thank them enough," Chaboudy said.
Chaboudy said the community can really take pride in this new building and be proud. He also said each of the contractors on the project tended to take the work personally and do a really great job.
State Rep. Anthony DeVitis said the new high school could not have happened without collaborative efforts.
"Without the community support, none of this could have happened," DeVitis said.
He wished the Coventry Schools the best moving forward.
State Rep. Greta Johnson recognized the teachers in Coventry and how hard they work for the students.
"Thank you, thank you to your teachers," Johnson said. "Welcome to your new home."
Ohio Sen. Tom Sawyer thanked the district for all it has done in the past and all the school will do in the future.
School board member Dave Andrews said he was lucky to be able to be there when Erwine Intermediate School was demolished and now around with the new school being built. Andrews also thanked C.T. Taylor for all its hard work.
"I don’t know how it could have been better," Andrews said.
He also said his best day was when he took a group of students through.
"The kid’s comments were incredible," Andrews said. "Keep in mind this is not for us, this is for you guys."
School board president Bob Wohlgamuth was really impressed with the turnout for the open house.
"What was a dream for a few of us years ago has now turned into reality for all of us," Wohlgamuth said.
The new school is lined with blue and yellow, the district’s colors, throughout the hallways and in the gym and cafeteria. The 125-square-foot building is equipped with two art rooms, two gyms, band room, choir room, special education room, three computer labs, offices and a room used for distance learning. The cafeteria serves as a multipurpose room that can be used as a theater with fold-down seats that come away from the wall.
Coventry Director of Facilities Jon Hibian, who has been with the district 35 years, said the building is unique and will be a great learning environment for students.
"Everyone in this community should really be proud of this building," Hibian said.
Hibian said he really likes the blue glass and the blue wave canopy in the back of the school, which resembles the Portage Lakes. He said the new building will likely be a model other school districts will want to look at when they rebuild buildings.
School board member Jeff Skaggs said he enjoyed the open house because it gave him an opportunity to see his former teachers. He also said he is really excited about the new building and opportunities it will allow.
"The vibe is incredible here," Skaggs said.
School board member Chris Davis agreed with Skaggs and said the new building is a remarkable improvement over what the district had before.
"This building is a huge benefit for Coventry students," Davis said.
Also during the open house, the Coventry road and fire departments were collecting school supplies.
"I’m just so excited about the new opportunities in academics, arts and athletics that our students will have in this amazing building," Coventry School Board Member Vicki Tavenier said. "Our Comets and community deserve a high school to be proud of."
Following the opening of the school, a new flag was raised between the new school and Coventry Stadium. The new 60-foot flagpole, lights and 12-by-18-foot flag was all made possible through donations. The effort by Bill Morisak was called "Raise the Flag." Despite rain and a nearby thunderstorm, the flag still went up as Coventry Girl Scouts led the Pledge of Allegiance.