GM school board taps architect and approves plan for demographic study of district

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By Rick Palsgrove
Groveport Editor

Groveport Madison Schools’ officials lined up an architectural firm as well as a company to study the district’s demographics, building capacity, and uses as part of creating a new Master Facility Plan to address growing enrollment and building needs.

At its Feb. 9 meeting, the Groveport Madison Board of Education approved using SHP Architects for facility planning.

“This is for the approval of using SHP Architects. No costs or anything are approved tonight,” said Groveport Madison Superintendent Garilee Ogden, who added the company will provide a presentation at the board’s next meeting along with a contract and cost for the board’s consideration.

The board also approved contracting with Cropper GIS for a demographic and capacity/utilization study of the district at a cost of $35,500.

According to information provided by Cropper GIS to the board, it is anticipated the demographic study can take eight to 10 weeks to complete. After conducting a walk through of the school buildings it will take about three weeks for a capacity report. Once the demographic study is finished, the utilization needs assessment could be completed in one to two weeks.

Ogden has emphasized that the community will be involved in the process of creating the new Master Facility Plan.

Groveport Madison Communications Director Jeff Warner said the creation of the Master Facility Plan could take at least a year and the final plan must be approved by the board. He said the district will follow Ohio Facilities Construction Commission guidelines in creating the Master Facility Plan. He said it is not yet known when funding from the OFCC will be available

“We need space due to our growth and it will be good to have a plan ready for when the OFCC says money is available,” said Warner.

As of October 2021 (the customary time frame the Ohio Department of Education uses to calculate enrollment), the district had 6,271 students. In comparison, enrollment was 5,569 in 2015-16.

While Warner said overcrowding is the central issue facing the district, other factors to be considered in the facilities planning process include the age, condition, efficiency, adaptability, and cost to maintain the existing elementary and middle schools.

According to Warner, because of student overcrowding the district has 24 modular classrooms in use. There is a single quad-classroom unit at Groveport Elementary, two double-classroom units at Asbury Elementary and Dunloe Elementary, and six double-classroom units at Sedalia Elementary.

District officials indicated it is not known at this time when a bond issue to fund new schools or school improvements could appear before the voters on the ballot.

Buildings’ capacity and enrollments
Here are the capacity and enrollments (as of December 2021) for Groveport Madison’s elementary and middle schools (a new 240,000 square foot, 1,500 student high school opened in 2018):

•Asbury Elementary – Built in 1963 with additions in 1968 and 1969. Enrollment, 476. Functional capacity, 425.

•Dunloe Elementary – Built in 1967 with additions in 1968 and 1969. Enrollment, 448. Functional capacity, 425.

•Glendening Elementary – Built in 1968 with addition in 1974. Enrollment, 455. Functional capacity, 425.

•Groveport Elementary – Built in 1923. Enrollment, 417. Functional capacity, 425. Placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2009.

•Madison Elementary – Built in 1967 with additions in 1968 and 1969. Enrollment, 354. Functional capacity, 425.

•Sedalia Elementary – Built in 1969 with addition in 1974. Enrollment, 562. Functional capacity, 446.

•Middle School North – Built in 1975. Enrollment, 495. Functional capacity, 425.

•Middle School South – Built in 1975. Enrollment, 466. Functional capacity, 425.

•Middle School Central – Built in stages as a high school between 1952-56. Enrollment, 448. Functional capacity, 425. Placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2009.

However, since December, Warner said now every building in the district, except for Madison Elementary, is over capacity.

(Functional capacity is 85 percent of original design capacity and reflects modern requirements for classroom space and programming. Source: Groveport Madison Schools.)

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