Groveport Madison to purchase new site for bus garage; plus safety plan approved

By Rick Palsgrove
Groveport Editor

Groveport Madison Schools officials selected a different site for a new bus garage.

On March 14, the Groveport Madison Board of Education authorized the $3 million purchase, from Broadstone OP Ohio LLC, of approximately 11 acres that includes a 58,324 square foot building and parking areas, located at 4500 S. Hamilton Road. The property is across the road from Groveport Madison High School). Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief Fund (ESSER) federal stimulus funds will be used.

The intention is to make the site the new home of the district’s bus garage as well as its Cruiser Accel program. (Cruiser Accel is an alternative pathway to college and career readiness. It is designed for students for whom the traditional high school pathway is not working. Students who are disengaged, distracted, and/or deficient in the skills needed to succeed and struggle to succeed in what has been known as the traditional school setting.)

The bus garage currently is located behind the District Service Center at 4400 Marketing Place in Groveport. The first plan was to relocate the bus garage to district owned land at the northeast corner of Bixby and Hendron roads, abutting Three Creeks Metro Park, at a cost of $4.6 million.

“It’s a good location,” said Groveport Madison Superintendent Jamie Grube of the South Hamilton Road site. “We can do it for less than the original site (at Bixby and Hendron roads).”

District officials said the change of sites will save the district about $1 million because the cost of constructing the bus garage at the Bixby and Hendron roads site, due to various problems, would be $900,000 to $1 million over budget.

“Now that we have board approval to purchase the building, we will begin working through the design process to determine build-out needs,” said Groveport Madison Communications Director Jeff Warner. “We are still determining the amount that will be needed at this juncture. The beginning and end of construction/renovation are not yet determined.”

Nothing further is planned for the former proposed bus garage site at Bixby and Hendron roads and it will remain as is for the time being, according to Warner.

Comprehensive Safety Plan
After reviewing the district’s safety survey results, the board approved the district’s Comprehensive Safety Plan.

(See the safety survey results online at

Groveport Madison Deputy Superintendent Paul Smathers said passing the safety plan was important because, “If it’s not safe, kids can’t learn and teachers can’t teach.”

The Comprehensive Safety Plan recommends the following staffing changes:

•Adding four social workers to the existing four now in place.

•Adding five additional safety and security staff. Currently there are five at the high school and one at each middle school. The additional staff could help with weapon detectors and provide support in the elementary schools.

•Adding one more school resource officer from the Groveport Police and the Madison Township Police. Currently there are two.

•Adding five school nurses. Currently there is one.

•Fill an administrator position to oversee student and family engagement, diversity, Code RRED District Committee, School Safety CPI, Traumatic Crisis Intervention Team, threat assessment, crisis response, and de-escalation training.

•Fill a coordinator position for: social, emotional, and mental health services; supervise social workers, nurses, and social service programming.

Groveport Madison Treasurer Felicia Drummey said the first year cost for the staffing recommendations is $1.7 million.

Items to be continued under the plan include: Concord Counseling Service; Copes Consulting; mentoring for workforce development, graduation, mentoring for student success plans and action steps; mentoring for seniors transitioning to college; After School Child Enrichment; suicide prevention; ROX Girls Group; Emspire MORE; principal student and parent advisory committee; superintendent student and parent advisory committee; board of education student advisory committee; district safety committee; Ohio State University Leadership Program; positive student activities during the school day; and comprehensive student management and discipline involving processes, procedures, protocols, and guidelines.

Additional safety strategies recommended include: Cruiser Accel program of credit recovery, attainment, and blended learning; metal/weapon detection and detection wands; safer entryways at elementaries and middle schools; visitor management system; bring back I Know I Can program; tutoring services (including collaboration with Columbus Metropolitan Library); after school programs involving mentoring, coaching, and personal development; and Youth to Youth International.

Things to be further looked into include: Urban Scout; Think, Make, Live Youth; Driven Foundation; and community services for English language learning supports and interventions.

“There’s still a lot of work that needs to be done,” said Grube. “Safety planning is not just about weapons detection systems. It’s a comprehensive approach to school safety that provides mental health and opportunities for kids to engage and have different supports. It’s making a cultural change so people feel safe.”

Added board member Libby Gray, “I like this approach because it is not taking care of just one problem, it’s working on multiple things to solve the problem as a whole.”

Grube said there will be costs associated with the safety plan and decisions will have to be made about expenses. Various contracts will come to the board for approval at future board meetings.

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