The first few days of the 2016-2017 school year are off to a great start! While we’ve just begun this school year we’re actively working to prepare for our shared future.
In Worthington, our schools are a great source of pride in the community and we are grateful for the support our residents provide year after year. In order to protect our residents’ investment in our schools, from time to time we analyze the way we do business to ensure we deliver on the quality and efficiency our community expects, including our school buildings.
Last year, the district engaged construction and school facilities experts to analyze the efficiency of our school buildings – both from a financial and educational standpoint. The research revealed some of our buildings are in great shape and are in need of some minor maintenance, while others could use extensive renovation or even replacement. That makes sense when you consider that some of our newest school buildings are 25 years old, while several of our schools are 50 years old and were not built with today’s learning in mind. We have done an excellent job with upkeep on the buildings, however, it’s not the appearance of the buildings that concerns us. It is the out-of-date infrastructure behind the walls (i.e. plumbing, electrical, heating and cooling) that is becoming more and more costly. Also, our student enrollment is growing! Families are moving to Worthington because of our great community and excellent schools. Managing this increased enrollment has impacted our school buildings in different ways.
We are working with the community and our educational leaders to come up with a long-term plan so that our schools can continue to offer vital programming and the variety of opportunities for students that our community expects and values. We are also committed to delivery of an excellent education in the most financially efficient manner possible. Before any decision is made about the future of our school buildings, we plan to engage our community with a 12-month master facilities planning process. The district will work with students, parents, community members and facilities experts to explore all options to determine the direction of facilities and enrollment planning for Worthington’s schools.
There are no preconceived notions or decisions made about what the future will hold once this process is complete. We are encouraging all residents to be a part of this vital conversation that will shape the future of our schools and community for generations to come.
At tonight’s (8.22.16) Worthington Board of Education meeting the planning firm of DeJong-Richter will present an overview of the planning process to our Board of Education. (7:30 P.M. at 200 E. Wilson Bridge Road). If you’re interested in this process please consider attending the meeting in person, watching the live stream at http://www.worthington.k12.oh.us/Page/3176 and/or checking out our Master Facility Planning webpage: http://www.worthington.k12.oh.us/Page/3365
-Trent Bowers, Superintendent