The Jackson 5 famously sang “A B C…It’s easy as, 1 2 3…As simple as, do re mi…A B C, 1 2 3.” In Worthington we’re also discussing our ABC’s. For us it’s the ABC’s of our facilities planning process.
The “A” stands for Aging facilities. In Worthington we have many schools that were built in the 1950’s and 1960’s. Many of their systems are nearing the end of their useful life. Over the past 10 years we have worked to update and replace those systems but we decided in 2015 that we needed to assess the overall condition of all of our schools. We partnered with the Ohio Facilities Construction Commission to assess our buildings. They determined that several of our schools were nearing the end of their useful life and that with the expected upkeep costs Worthington may be better off to build new schools.
The “B” stands for Balancing high school enrollment. Currently, Thomas Worthington High School has 1,740 students and Worthington Kilbourne High School has 1,250 students. As part of the Ohio Facilities Construction Commission’s work we completed a new ten year enrollment study. That study indicated that over the next several years both high schools will grow in enrollment but that the enrollment growth at Thomas Worthington will exceed the capacity of the school. Thus, we will need to either add on to Thomas Worthington to increase capacity or move some student attendance areas from Thomas Worthington to Worthington Kilbourne.
The “C” stands for Capacity for all students. This year Worthington Schools opened with 10,201 students. That is an increase in around 1,000 students in the past five years. In addition, because the largest increases are in Kindergarten through 5th grade, we expect that the district will grow another 800 students over the next five years as our larger classes move up through the system. We have exceeded our current elementary capacity and to combat this we have relocated Evening Street’s 6th grade to Kilbourne Middle School and added classroom trailers at Worthington Hills and Colonial Hills Elementary Schools.
Over the past 12 months a community task force has been working to create a long-term plan that will address the ABC’s for Worthington. “C” capacity has become our most urgent need but we’re hopeful that a solution can been created that has a positive impact on each of the ABC’s. This fall we expect that the task force will be ready to make a recommendation to the Board of Education. In the meantime, please take a few minutes and review our facilities planning webpage https://www.worthington.k12.oh.us/domain/989
-Trent Bowers, Superintendent
In the video below Assistant Superintendent Randy Banks does an excellent job of explaining the ABC’s in Worthington