More space for more students?

(Posted Oct. 10, 2019)

By Josephine Birdsell, Staff Writer

London City Schools is looking to the future and the potential need for additional space. At the Oct. 8 school board meeting, SHP, an architectural design firm, proposed a master plan for facilities designed to accommodate the district’s rising enrollment rates.

Enrollment is increasing across all grade levels, according to London City Schools Superintendent Dr. Lou Kramer. This year, the district acquired 65 new students.

Enrollment is rising most quickly at the high school, which has seen roughly a 20 percent increase in student population, or an enrollment of 140 new students, over the past four years.

Kramer anticipates enrollment rates will continue trending upward.

“I think within the next two to five years we’re really going to have to look hard, particularly at the high school, about additional instructional spaces for our kids,” he said.

SHP proposed additions to the elementary, middle and high schools, renovations to the high school, additional parking spaces and athletic fields, new walking paths and trails on school property, and a field house for the district’s athletic teams.

The estimated cost of all the upgrades falls between $27.5 million and $34.5 million. The cost is subject to vary widely based on actualized building plans.

“This work that SHP is doing is simply looking at where we are as a district before there’s a need (for more facilities),” Kramer said.

The district is unlikely to take any formal action toward renovation and construction this year, he continued, but the board will continue planning with SHP.

“We must plan for the future,” said Darryl Brown, board president. “We know that we’re a growing community, and we’ve got to have a plan in place to make sure that we continue to offer our students the most opportunities for success that we possibly can.”

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