By Rick Palsgrove
Plans for Groveport Madison Schools’ new health center are taking shape.
Representatives of Primary One Health presented a plan for the Groveport Madison Local Schools Wellness Center to the Groveport Madison Board of Education on April 13.
“In partnership with Primary One Health, Groveport Madison Schools will use a $3 million state grant and $7 million of our federal stimulus funds to renovate a portion of the District Service Center to offer expanded services beyond anything we thought possible,” said Groveport Madison Superintendent Garilee Ogden at the recent State of the Schools event. “This project will be part of a more significant endeavor to relocate our transportation center into a larger, off-site location. The first phase of the project will include constructing the health center, where students and the community will be able to get health screenings, immunizations, physicals, primary care, and comprehensive oral health and vision services.”
According to Primary One Health’s presentation, the health center would occupy 4,837 square feet of the District Service Center, located at 4400 Marketing Place in Groveport. The space would include five medical exam rooms, two dental exam rooms, three eye exam rooms, one triage space, one nurse station, one eye glass dispensary, one teaching kitchen, conference space, a lab, reception area, staff space, security, a public restroom and a staff restroom, and a site manager office.
The health center would be open to the public from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. It would be staffed by a certified nurse practitioner, two medical assistants, a front desk/registration staff member, behavioral health counselor, dentist, and optometrist.
According to the presentation, the $3 million Ohio Department of Health School Based Health Centers grant includes $500,000 in capital funding and $2.5 million in operational funding. The grant requires the health center be operational in six to 12 months.
The project schedule is as follows: complete detail design phase in April; develop and implement the community engagement work plan and memorandum of understanding by May 31; complete the staffing plan from April to June; service plan by June; and begin renovations in July or August.
“We will work to update the board and community as the project develops and keep everyone informed,” said Ogden.
Ogden previously said there is “overwhelming evidence” that students who receive essential preventative and primary care services are more likely to be attentive, successful learners.
“Healthy students are better at all levels of academic achievement: academic performance, behavior, cognitive skills, attitudes, and their ability to cope and adapt to various life challenges,” said Ogden. “We’re delighted to partner with Primary One Health and to let you know that the new health center will open in March of next year.”
Another phase of the District Service Center renovation project discussed earlier by school officials would include the addition of a District Welcome Center, where the district will relocate its enrollment office, social workers, and support for families experiencing homelessness whose children attend Groveport Madison Schools.
Last August, the board approved, by a 4-1 vote, using $4.2 million in federal Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief Funding (ESSER) for the District Service Center renovations and health center. The federal ESSER 3 funds must be spent by September 2024.
Board member Kathleen Walsh was the lone dissenting vote in August, arguing the money should not go towards a health center and instead should be used to address student overcrowding to build a new K-8 school and improve other school facilities.
“It’s not our job to build a health center, said Walsh.
Ogden said some facility repairs were made. She said, while district officials agree on the need for new schools, spending money on a new school is not one of the 15 permitted uses for ESSER 3 funding.
Operations and facilities update
Some of the facilities and operations updates recently completed in the district include: installing 34 new water bottle fillers; replacing 25 drinking fountain; installing 282 faucets; installing LED lighting in every school; improving exterior grounds and landscaping around the schools; top dressing and reseeding the Middle School Central and Middle School South football and soccer fields; upgrading classroom configurations; installed 90 Interactive Display Boards; improving outdoor drainage; plumbing repairs and upgrades; and HVAC upgrades.
Other Groveport Madison news
•The board approved the job description for a new position of communications coordinator for social media/multi-media. The purpose of the job is to enlarge and enhance the district’s social media presence and the district’s communications abilities as well as to effectively respond to and monitor community social media platforms. District officials will now complete an annual salary compensation analysis for the position and bring that to the board at a later date.
•The board authorized a $635,500 contract with CDW-G, LLC for the purchase of 310 Interactive Displays to be paid out of federal ESSER 3 funds received by the district. An Interactive Display is an electronic tablet or panel that teachers and students use to directly access instructional information.