LAKE TWP.  Students, staff and parents at Lake High School are preparing for the early stages of construction and renovation of the building. There are a series of moves being implemented to ensure that everyone has a place to work, go to school and park at the high school.

Several areas will be effected with the site preparation and early construction which includes parking, closing classrooms, rerouting entrances and exits and combining the main office with the attendance office.

"Staff parking will be roped off and relocated (as of Monday) and site preparation and construction will begin shortly after that," said John McAllister, the district's facility project manager. "Everyone in the building has known about the upcoming changes since the beginning of the school year. Parking places have been allocated since the beginning of the year. Parking along Lake Center on the south side of the high school will be closed to staff parking and student drop off. The attendance office will remain at Door 2, on the west side of the building off of King Church Street and the high school main office will share space with the attendance office," he said.

Teachers will be parking on the west side of the building off King Church Street. Student parking will also be along the west side of the building. McAllister said Door 1 will be closed and the main entrance will be at Door 2. There will also be six classrooms closed at the end of this school year.

This is all in preparation of the construction of a 110,123-square-feet addition and 64,000-square-feet renovation of the high school. Demolition of the present high school’s east wing will be complete by December 2018. A new main entrance facing Market Avenue with additional classrooms and an auxiliary gym will be complete by December 2019.

Expansion and renovation of the existing art and music wing will be finished by the beginning of the 2018-19 school year. Other ongoing projects include the following:

- Construction of an addition onto, and remodeling, the current Uniontown Elementary into a pre-kindergarten to first grade building; completion in December 2018.

- Construction of a new grades 2-6 building replacing the existing Hartville and Lake Elementary schools with targeted completion date of summer 2018.

- Demolition of Lake and Hartville Elementary completed by December 2018.

- New community fields with play areas for softball, football and soccer along State Route 43, north of the district’s bus garage, will be ready for use this spring and fall.

"There is some apprehension among staff and parents about the parking and bus drop off. Parking has been an issue because we have multiple entities sharing the building. When the project is finished, the will be separate parking for everyone and there will be additional student parking," McAllister said. "The administration will continue to communicate the progress and changes through various channels to staff, parents, students and the community. The feedback from staff and students when they see the 3D model of the changes is positive and everyone is excited."

Construction will begin throughout the district during the coming weeks of late winter and early spring. The construction and remodeling is made possible through local support of Bond Issue 14, which passed in May 2015.