Groveport Madison reviews options for its crowded elementary schools


By Rick Palsgrove
Southeast Editor

Student enrollment at Groveport Madison Schools is growing and district officials say the increasing numbers are making it a tight fit at some of the schools.

“We’re short on space in the elementary schools,” said Groveport Madison Superintendent Bruce Hoover.

Hoover said the district could consider adding more modular classrooms.

Board member Bryan Shoemaker suggested that, instead of modulars, the district consider building classroom additions on the existing elementary schools.

“Those buildings were originally built so classrooms could be added on to the ends of the buildings,” said Shoemaker.

Hoover noted Madison Elementary has no room for building additions because of its property boundary limits. He said Sedalia and Dunloe elementaries have the most available land space for additions.

The funding to possibly build classroom additions would have to come from a small bond issue, according to district officials.

The board and district officials will review their options and estimated costs before making a future decision regarding whether to obtain additional modular classroom units or to build classroom additions.

Groveport Madison Communications Officer Jeff Warner said the district’s enrollment growth is higher in the northern part of the district than in the southern portion. One reason is that there are more apartments in the north than in the south.

“Our enrollment increases each year and the numbers can change daily,” said Warner. “The numbers are very fluid.”

According to Warner, the district’s total enrollment for 2016-17 is approximately 5,779, which is up from about 5,400 at the end of the last school year. (Note: The district determines enrollment by head count while the Ohio Department of Education calculates enrollment by averaging three separate counts during the year. The 5,400 number reflects that average.)

According to the district’s numbers, here is the enrollment at each of the district’s schools (each elementary and middle school has a capacity of 500, except for Sedalia Elementary, which is 525; the high school’s current capacity based on modern requirements is 970): Asbury, 491; Dunloe, 433 (includes two modular classrooms); Glendening, 448; Groveport Elementary, 444 (includes a modular); Madison, 426; Sedalia, 517; Middle School Central, 385; Middle School North, 491; Middle School South, 435; and the high school, 1,709. (The high school’s crowding situation will be alleviated when the new high school opens in 2018.)

Though the overall building numbers are below capacity, Warner said the amount of classroom crowding and a building’s actual functional capacity depends on what programs are offered at each school. For example, the maximum classroom capacity for special needs students is limited. So, fewer students in that particular classroom requires more students be housed in other fewer classrooms.

Warner said the district plans for a maximum capacity of 30 students in an elementary classroom.

“But students don’t come in neat blocks of 30 or fewer per classroom,” said Warner. “It might seem like a building has space, but when you look at it at specific grade levels it doesn’t. So there may appear to be room, but not at the grade level where you need the space. The district is looking at potential temporary solutions, especially in the north.”

These solutions could include modulars, building additions, or adjusting school attendance boundaries, according to Warner.


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