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Columbus Schools review facilities plan
The Columbus Board of Education discussed the district's overall facilities plan on April 21.
Carole Olshavsky, senior executive of capital improvements, presented an update on Segment 3 of the Facilities Master Plan. The plan is part of a construction and renovation program in partnership with the Ohio School Facilities Commission (OSFC).
According to Olshavsky, most of Segment 2 is completed, but a couple of projects have been extended. The overall project so far has come in under budget, allowing for funding to be rolled onto the next phase.
Included in Segment 2C of the plan are building security updates and science lab renovations. Over the next three summers, all middle and high schools in the district will receive updated security, according to Olshavsky. Select science labs in middle and high schools in the district will undergo renovations. Partial funding for the security updates will come from OSFC, but the science lab renovations are not eligible for shared funding. Cost of the security updates is $3 million.
The Language Immersion project will consolidate French and Spanish immersion programs with a possible third language. The district will renovate an existing building to serve 900 students in sixth through eighth grades, costing $22 million.
The Georgian Heights Elementary School project, costing $13.9 million, will include construction of a new school on an existing site, housing 550 pre-K through fifth grade students.
According to Olshavsky, Segment 3 is still on schedule, with the renovation of the science labs and update of building security to be completed in three phases by summer 2011. Between now and August 2010, the design phase will take place, and between September 2010 and August 2012, construction will commence.
After Olshavsky's presentation, board member W. Shawna Gibbs asked if the facilities team considered the effects of a recommendation by Gov. Ted Strickland for Ohio school districts to reduce class sizes.
According to Superintendent Gene Harris, the recommendation is being revised by the Ohio House of Representatives. She said she understood that districts may use the state's recommendations as guidelines.
Gibbs asked if the science lab renovations would be consistent throughout the district. Olshavsky said the district is using Ohio Department of Education science lab standards as guidelines and OSFC guidelines. Though the projects vary from building to building, the renovations will maintain consistency throughout the district.
In other business, Harris gave a brief overview of the bond and levy dashboard, asking board members to consider ways of maintaining a report for community members and district residents. The report will outline the areas benefiting from the passage of November's Issue 75, a combined 7.85-mill permanent operating levy and $164-million 1.13-mill bond issue.
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