By Rick Palsgrove
The grounds of Groveport Madison High School are looking less leafy now.
In early September, 17 tall locust and maple trees were removed from in front of the school as part of the process for the construction of the new 230,000 square foot high school.
According to the district’s website at gocruisers.org, the modular classrooms behind the school must be moved to the front of the existing building and sanitary sewer lines must be relocated before construction can start on the new high school. In order to replace the sewer lines, it was necessary to remove trees.
At the Sept. 9 Groveport Madison Board of Education meeting, Superintendent Bruce Hoover said 14 modular classrooms will be moved to the front of the existing high school between the sidewalks by November. Work on the sanitary sewer line in front of the school will also begin this fall.
Also, according to the district’s website, “A few of trees impacted by the project are memorial trees planted in honor of former students. Those trees have been inventoried and their plaques carefully removed and stored so that they can be replaced with trees of the same size and variety when construction is complete.”
District officials state the district plans to plant between 75 and 175 new trees and up to 300 bushes and shrubs once the new high school is built.
“We want this new site to be beautiful,” Hoover said on the website. “Part of our goal is a facility that’s green in energy efficiency and appearance.”
School opens to crowded buildings
Hoover said Groveport Madison has around 5,900 students this school year and that there are about 100 more students in grades 6-12 and about 100 less students in grades K-5.
He said about 1,700 students are enrolled at the high school (some of which attend Eastland Career Center).
“The high school is packed,” said Hoover.
He said the three middle schools have “adequate space,” but “sound is an issue at the middle schools because of the lack of doors and the partitions.”
Hoover said, even though there are about 100 fewer students in the elementary grades, “lack of space is an issue” most notably at Madison, Asbury and Dunloe elementaries. He said Dunloe will get some relief once two modulars with four classrooms are installed within the next few weeks.
Hoover said space, equipment, and services requirements required by the state for special needs students is contributing to the crowding at the elementaries. He said the district has more than 1,000 special needs students, which he said is “marginally higher than the state average.”
Hoover said there are fewer students in the special needs classes, but they occupy classrooms, which means non-special needs students must be absorbed in classrooms elsewhere in the school.