Staying in Hannibal

THE SWITZERLAND of Ohio School District is taking on a brand new look.

New and renovated buildings are in the process of gracing the entire expansive district, adding up to more than an $86 million overhaul.

One of those projects has caused some uncertainty within the district. River High School is currently undergoing a major upgrade. That is a good thing once completed.

The problem is that the work is far from done. And with the onset of classes in about a month, students, parents and staff alike were unsure whether they would still be at the Hannibal-based school when classes resumed in August or be shipped elsewhere.

To its credit, the district board of education removed the shadow of doubt at its meeting Wednesday night. Board members opted to keep River High students in that school while construction is under way, at least for now.

The project is the latest project in the building program, and it involves the combination of Hannibal Elementary, Sardis Elementary and River High School. Obviously, it is major in scope, with the possibility of encountering snags as work extends to the summer of 2013.

While we hope construction problems are averted, we commend the school board for having a contingency plan if needed.

Work at River High School will extend until the summer of 2013.

“If the construction is behind or affected, the River High students will be moved to Powhatan Elementary after it is vacant,” said Superintendent Larry Elliott. “The new Powhatan Elementary will be finished in late December to early January.

As of right now, the move of the students is a back-up plan.”

We believe such advance planning is prudent, and hopefully unnecessary. But should the need to relocate arises, it is reassuring district officials will not be caught off guard.

Such vision will ensure the safety of the students while also maintaining a sense of continuity for the balance of the academic year.