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Improving the Educational Environment to Match the Programming

Renovation of the Front Entrance to Fairless High School - Phase 1 Summer 2016
The Facility
    Since its construction in 1964, Fairless High School has seen relatively few improvements. The Learning Commons uses furniture original to the building library. The facility is in need to ADA accessibility, lighting improvements, air conditioning, furniture, and fresh paint. Fairless High School has creatively expanded programming and increased academic opportunities while maintaining a balanced budget. 
    While academic programs have soared to excellence, the 50 year old building has not been renovated.

What has been done so far?
    In the Fall of 2015, that began to change. It started with the donation of a new sign on the front of the building. This "soaring falcon" replaced an aging cartoon like falcon mascot. The goal was to inspire our students to "Soar To Excellence Every Day in all they do. The first image of FHS that students see is the soaring falcon. The Alumni Association donated over $20,000 to paint the dark, dingy hallways in the school's Navy and White color scheme. With the help of the Alumni Association, the front entrance will become ADA Accessible. The Young Professionals of Fairless and the Athletic Boosters have partnered to add new showcases and beautify the new front entrance.

What will happen this summer?
    In summer 2016, the worn out front doors will be replaced. This will be done using funds from a 1 mill permanent improvement fund. The doors replacement will have a heavy focus on safety and security. A monitor position will be re-tasked to serve as the receptionist for the building. This will ensure that the flow of traffic in and out of the building is controlled. This will be the start of a facelift to the tired facility that is desperately needed.

Why renovate and not replace?
    Why not go for Ohio School Facilities Commission dollars to replace Fairless High School? This is a valid question that has been asked, as FHS is on the OFCS list for replacement. The district would receive 44% state funding to complete such a project. The district has decided not to pursue this for several reasons. First, with an average income for a family of four at $29,000 the district's residents are not in a position for additional tax levies. Second, FHS was originally built to house 1,100 students. With population decline, the facility now is home to 550 students. This has allowed for flexibility such as: space for housing 45 credit hours of college programming from KSU Stark, space to house outside counseling and mentoring services, space to house the district offices, and space for athletics. If an OSFC building project occurred, FHS would be half the size it is currently. Lastly, the new Middle and Elementary Schools were built with a campus in mind. To construct a new high school, would mean the facility would need to relocate, thus breaking up the campus and hurting our ability to share resources, staff, and supplies between the buildings.

What is planned?  
    The team at Fairless is hard at work planning renovation in phases one step at a time. 
    A grant has been written to the Christopher Reeves Foundation and Alumni Association to make the front of the facility ADA accessible. 
    A grant is in progress to the Paul and Carol David Foundation to renovate the Learning Commons. The Learning Commons was the buildings library. It has been repurposed into the learning hub for both staff and students alike, and it has also become the heart and sole of our College Credit Plus program. It is, however, a worn out, tired, and uninspiring room that is in dire need of furniture, lighting, HVAC, and paint. With the help of the Paul and Carol David Foundation that the Learning Commons environment will soon match its programming.     A grant is in progress to Ohio's Straight A Fund. The focus of this grant is to improve the educational environment to match the high quality College Credit Plus programming that has been offered at FHS through KSU Stark. This grant will renovate 5 CCP classrooms, add an outdoor classroom, upgrade classroom technology, add an elevator to the 2nd floor to make the CCP program ADA accessible, add more Chromebooks, and provide training to our adjuncts.
    At FHS we work to ensure our students, staff, parents, community, and facilities #SoarToExcellence!


Fairless Proposed Entry 2-24-16.avi



College Credit Plus Classroom

Stairwell to second floor where CCP Courses are offered

CCP Students doing a writing workshop for College Writing I in the Learning Commons