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Old June 6th, 2007, 09:01 PM   #1
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Ironton, OH Development News

Low bids have school officials optimistic
Archive of Ironton City School and Ironton, Ohio developments

Notes --
1. The bids for two preparatory projects for the new Ironton City Schools are under initial estimates. A contractor from Portsmouth was the low bidder for the early site package for the Ironton High School site -- $26,000 below the architect's estimate of $285,737. A contractor from Zanesville was the low bidder for the asbestos abatement project at the high school -- at $97,549, under the original estimate of $134,646.
2. Another contractor on the early site package for the elementary and middle school, estimated to cost $926,000, came in under budget.

3. Early site packages include the installation of some underground utilities, such as natural gas, sewer, and water -- and will allow for future construction of the new school buildings. It will allow the continued use of the Conley Center for classroom space while the new buildings are being constructed.

Article information: "Low bids have school officials optimistic, By TERESA MOORE, The Ironton Tribune, Wednesday, June 6, 2007"
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Old June 6th, 2007, 09:36 PM   #2
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City eyes grant worth $3 million to clean up site

Notes --
1. Grant money for the continued cleanup of the former 25-acre Intermet and Ironton Iron site may be coming soon to the city of Ironton. The city has applied up to $3 million in grant money to clean the site and make it usable for commercial properties. It has a rail spur and is along the Heartland Corridor.
2. Phase I (visual inspection) and Phase II (taking core samples to see if there are environmental hazards) are completed. Phase II was completed in December.
3. If the site is cleaned up, it would be purchased by the city for a symbolic $1. It would be used for economic development -- a factory or retail trade.

4. The site was a foundry for more than 100 years and operated as Dayton Malleable and Ironton Iron to produce automotive casings. In 1988, Intermet corp. purchased the site and closed it in 2000 after suppliers went overseas to purchase their products.
5. The city has been attempting to clean the site for three years. It was once close to purchasing the land, but Intermet filed for bankruptcy.

Article information: "City eyes grant worth $3 million to clean up site, By MARK SHAFFER, The Ironton Tribune, Wednesday, June 6, 2007"
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Old June 12th, 2007, 09:10 PM   #3
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Ironton City Schools

Architects reveal new designs for Ironton schools
Architects reveal new designs for Ironton schools, By Teresa Moore, The Ironton Tribune, June 11, 2007

New elementary school renderings
New high school renderings
Rendering and floor plans for both
Construction update

The architects unveiled design plans for the new Ironton High School auditorium, which will share an entry way with the auxiliary gymnasium. The entry way will also double as a cafeteria during school hours. The new auditorium, which will be nearly the same size as the existing one, will feature acoustical panels, dressing rooms, and storage areas. It will have a catwalk for lighting, an orchestra pit, and PVC carpeting. These are all features the existing facility does not have -- plus, air conditioning!

Also of note, the Heplar Street entrance (eastern entrance) will be spared from demolition and will be used as decoration in the cafeteria. The existing glass and door will be replaced with mirrors for an "art deco effect." Medallions and urns from the building will be saved and reused in the event entry area. The old ticket booth and clock, in front of the auditorium, will be used in the new school, along with the chandeliers from the old auditorium.
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Old July 12th, 2007, 07:35 PM   #4
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Ironton school projects under way

Ironton school projects under way
By David E. Malloy
The Herald-Dispatch
July 12, 2007

IRONTON -- Site work on three new Ironton schools is on schedule and under budget so far, Ironton Superintendent Dean Nance said.

Construction is expected to begin this summer for a new, consolidated Ironton Elementary School off Delaware Street in North Ironton. A completion date is scheduled for August 2009, Nance said Tuesday.

Demolition bids for sections of the former high school building will go out in July. The front entrance, the Conley Center and Tanks Memorial Stadium all are staying. Work on the high school is scheduled to start March 2008 and the construction could be finished by February 2010, he said.

"I think we've done a very good job of keeping the historical look in the new school," Nance said. "We're saving the front entrance. We want to match the color of the brick. We're going to a great extent to keep the tradition and items of historical significance in the new school. We want to provide the best possible learning environment for our kids."

"I think it's important that they're keeping some historical aspects to the new school," said Virginia Bryant, an Ironton resident. "I think people who attended the school will appreciate that."

The new high school will have three stories, as the original did, along with a new auditorium and a new gymnasium. Since the Conley Center is being retained, the high school will have two gymnasiums. Each of the classrooms in the new high school will have a window and have at least 900 square feet of space, Nance said.

The construction will lead to moving a number of grades into new buildings for the next two or three years.

High school students will move to the Ironton Middle School building at 302 Delaware Street. The new middle school and the elementary school are being built near the building off Delaware Street.

Seventh- and eighth-grade students will be in the Conley Center, which has 14 classrooms, sixth-grade students will be in the First Baptist Educational Facility, fourth- and fifth-grade students will move to Kingsbury Elementary, second- and third-grade students will be at Whitwell Elementary, and first-grade and kindergarten students will hold classes at West Ironton.

"We're keeping the same student-teacher ratios," Nance said. While the district is using a number of libraries as classrooms, there will be several bookmobiles put into service to serve Ironton students, he said.

The district will hold a silent auction from 8 a.m. to noon Saturday, July 21, for a number of items the school system won't be keeping for the new schools. Two pianos, desks, slate chalk boards, oak doors and auditorium chairs are among the items that will up for sale, Nance said. The proceeds will go toward the new schools, he said.

"We're allowing people to buy pieces of the past," Nance said. The district also will be selling bricks from the old high school that initially opened in 1922.

The old ticket booth to the auditorium is being refinished and work is being done by Diamond Furniture Restoration in Russell on the chandeliers, Nance said. "We're also redoing some old trophy cases."

Boone Coleman of Portsmouth has awarded the bid for the early site work for the new middle school and consolidated elementary school. The project was estimated at $1,313,000, but the bid was awarded at $926,000, Nance said.

H&R Erectors of Ashland was awarded a bid of $259,000 to get the Conley building ready for students in August. The project had an estimate of $286,000, he said.

Lepi Enterprises of Zanesville, Ohio, was awarded the bid for asbestos removal at the high school for $97,500. The project initially had a cost estimate of $135,000, Nance said.

There will be a number of technology improvements in the new classrooms, including one that will allow teachers to wear wireless microphones and have access to video, DVD, television and projectors, he said.

"Technology is amazing," he said. "The capabilities are nearly limitless. The teachers are excited about it."
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Old July 23rd, 2007, 04:46 AM   #5
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Austyn’s to open within a month

Austyn’s to open within a month
By Teresa Moore and Mark Shaffer, The Ironton Tribune, July 21, 2007

Austyn’s, a new restaurant in the historic Norfolk and Western Depot building in downtown Ironton, will be opening in the next few weeks. All that is needed is a final health inspection and some other state permits. The owner already of the restaurant owns an Austyn's restaurant in Marietta, which has been open for six years. Restoration work on the depot had been ongoing since January 2007, which included extensive work on the inside -- keeping with a railroad theme and within historic specifications. The building was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1978. The floors are original but most everything else is new, but any additions were kept within the structure's historical roots. The last business in the Depot was the Italian eatery, Manzetti's, which closed in 2001.

The restaurant features a large dining room that can seat 80, a bar that can hold 25, a banquet room that can seat 30, and two rooms that can be used for business dinners that includes a LCD television, high-speed Internet, and computer connections. It will serve staples such as steak, seafood, and chicken, and some international fare, such as Szechwan shrimp and scallops, Thai style pasta, and gourmet pastas.

As with the case of the Depot's restoration, the Ironton Port Authority and the city are taking a hard look at how the city can make itself more attractive to new businesses and industry.

Quote:
"One thing I know about economic development is things move slowly. But if we are going to bring jobs, we’ve got to position ourselves in a way that makes us more attractive to companies that might want to locate here. New restaurants are certainly one piece of the puzzle."
--Ironton Port Authority Director Bill Dickens
Other projects in the works for the city includes the acquisition of property along the Ohio River for a new community park. So far, the Ironton Port Authority has received a $150,000 state grant to purchase land along the floodwall near Etna Street for a park that will feature restrooms, walking trails, and other amenities. A project to raze the abandoned River Valley Hospital building will result in upscale housing -- much desired in the city. The Authority recently received a $750,000 Clean Ohio Assistance grant for the project. Within the past year, the city has received more than a million dollars for a variety of improvement projects, such as streetscape improvements.
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Old August 14th, 2007, 05:32 PM   #6
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Leaders have plan for downtown revitalization

Leaders have plan for downtown revitalization
By Teresa Moore, The Ironton Tribune, August 11, 2007

Just a little more than three months ago, the city of Ironton unveiled a plan to revitalize the city by focusing on its strengths first within the business district, and then creating new life around that. Those in charge of the project have been busy applying for numerous grants and seeking support from the community.

The downtown revitalization plan was developed by the Poggemeyer Design Group of Bowling Green. It encourages private investments to downtown structures, new signage, and "pedestrian comforts" to make the city more attractive and convenient. A transit station should also be incorporated between Vernon and Washington Streets, south of Second Street, to accommodate a bus system, according to the plan. Parking should also be improved next to the new Austyn's restaurant.

In late June, the Ohio Department of Development reviewed the city's preliminary funding application and was pleased. ODD officials invited leaders from Ironton to submit a final application for Tier 2 funding. The $400,000, if approved, would be used for public facility improvements, such as sidewalks, and as leverage to obtain other government grants. The final application must be submitted by early October. If approved in early winter, design work would begin in the winter of 2007 and construction could begin by summer 2008.

The city is also seeking National Historic Preservation status for the Brumberger building that formerly housed Guy's Floor Covering, and the Marlow building that houses Tim's News and Novelties. A designation such as that would make it available to both federal and state tax credits that would amount to 50 cents for every dollar spent on improvements. The city has already received a $200,000 facade improvement grant for the Marlow building and are seeking money from the KYOVA interstate planning commission.

A planned bus system that would serve parts of Lawrence County and elsewhere would be paid in part by federal transit monies.
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