New medical building under construction in Springboro, Ohio

SPRINGBORO - It's a medical building; new facilities for prep athletes, trainers and coaches; and a press box connected to the remodeled, renamed CareFlight Field.

The $9 million EduCare building has been taking shape where a practice football field was located between the junior high and high school in Springboro.

"We're stacking two floors of office construction on top of a school building," George Long, business manager for the Springboro Community City Schools, said as he picked his way through the partially completed structure last month.

By June 2009 - perhaps sooner - students, coaches, trainers and Miami Valley Hospital medical staff and patients, will be moving into the building, funded by a lease between the school district and hospital.

Over 22 years, the hospital has agreed to make payments retiring a loan obtained by the district to pay for the building and improvements to the stadium, including artificial turf. Loan funds are also expected to reroof the junior high.

"There is no taxpayer money that is going toward this project. We're just a conduit basically," Treasurer Tim Dettwiller said.

Some observers remain skeptical about the arrangement, entered through contracts approved by the district's bond lawyers and Squire, Sanders and Dempsey, a Clevelandbased law firm.

The project is financed through a state fund allowing for joint ventures between public and private partners, Dettwiller said.

"It's the first time it's ever been done," Superintendent David Baker said.

About 60 construction workers, managed by Turner Construction, continue to work on the shared building.

"It's a new concept," said Doug Rack, Turner's superintendent on the project.

The ground floor will be used by the school, the second floor by the hospital. The hospital is to use most of the third floor, except the press box, located in the rear section. The home stands will connect to the press box and shield concession and a concourse below.

The design was developed by Steed, Hammond Paul, architects working with the district and hospital.

"It sort of evolved," Long said, as a worker sawed into the concrete floor of the press box.

School facilities will be accessed through a side entrance, the hospital areas by stairs and elevator on the front of the building. The press box will be accessible through the stands or the building.

Still to be worked out are security systems that will segregate the school from the hospital.

Work is scheduled to be completed by June.