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Open Door School prepares for move to new building

December 6, 2018

Photo by David E. MalloyJulie Monroe, superintendent of the Lawrence County Board of Developmental Disabilities, and Jeff Townsend, Developmental Disabilities facilities operations manager, tour the Tri-State Industries building in Coal Grove which will be renovated to hold Open Door School students next year.

COAL GROVE, Ohio — The Lawrence County Board of Developmental Disabilities will move Open Door students to the Tri-State Industries building in Coal Grove when classes start up next August, according to Julie Monroe, board superintendent.

“We’re getting all the drawings finalized,” Monroe said Monday. “We should start the renovation in January and have it ready for students by August.”

The 90-plus-year-old Open Door School building in Ironton “isn’t conducive for children with disabilities,” Monroe said. The school has three floors while the Tri-State Industries building has a one-floor plan.

Another reason for the move is the cost to maintain an old building with an elevator, Monroe said.

“We’re very excited about the move,” Monroe said. “It will be a positive for our students.”

Plans call for eight classrooms to be added to the Tri-State Industries and for a gymnasium to be added, said Jeff Townsend, facilities operations manager for the board. The Open Door School programs are for 64 students between the ages of five and 22.

The board is looking at options on what to do with the old school building on Lorain Street, according to Monroe.

The board’s Service and Support program, which is located in a connecting building, won’t be impacted by the renovations, Monroe said.

The project has a $700,000 budget and the board also will be seeking tax-deductible donations to help fund the project, said Tim Nunnery, a board spokesman.

“We hope to have it ready by the next school year,” Nunnery said last week to the Lawrence County Board of Commissioners.

Donations can be sent to Developmental Disabilities, 604 Carlton-Davidson Lane, Coal Grove.

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