Continuous Facilities Improvement
Over the past several years, Worthington Schools has continuously made strides to improve our facilities in an effort to meet the needs of educational programs and activities. A classroom expansion was constructed at the existing middle school facility. In addition, we recently invested in infrastructure and HVAC improvements within the middle school and high school facilities. Finally, in 2015, we completed an addition at our current high school facility which included additional classroom and music/band space.
We’re Growing and That’s a Good Thing, but…
Increased Enrollment Causes Overcrowding Problems
While facilities investments have solved some educational environment issues, continued student enrollment growth and evolution in instructional programs have reached a point where creation of additional space at all grade levels across the district is necessary to enable us to appropriately serve our students.
Specific major deficiencies that would be addressed by the referendum include:
- Shortage of general classroom spaces at the existing high school facility.
- Insufficient size/capacity of core spaces – like cafeterias, hallways, gyms, common areas - within the existing high school facility.
- Significant over-crowding and insufficient space at the elementary and middle school grade levels.
- Lack of appropriate learning spaces within the existing West Learning Center facility.
2018 Referendum Proposal - It’s a New Plan
The current referendum proposal is a stream-lined and cost-effective version of the last election. The stadium and other athletic fields have been removed. Classroom and core space reconfigurations and changes will be handled by the district without impacting the referendum.
Why it’s Worth it: Benefits to Students, Staff and the Community
The proposed improvements and the additional space designed to accommodate enrollment growth at all levels will allow us to continue to provide excellent educational programs and community access to our sites and facilities for many years to come.
Direct benefits to students, staff and the surrounding community are many:
- Adequate instructional and program space at all grade levels.
- Grade configurations better aligned with curricular goals across the district.
- Flexible spaces to accommodate personalized learning and a wider variety of instructional delivery.
- Strengthened commitment to our strategic plan and mission.
- Greater availability for community use and partnership with our facilities and programs.
Safe. Secure. Space.
Referendum Scope Summary
After the 2016 referendum failed, the facilities committee took community input and once again reviewed numerous options to find the most cost-effective solution to solve space shortages from our rapid and consistent enrollment growth. The new one-question $68.5 million referendum on February 13, 2018 does this by funding the following:
- Construct a new high school for grades 9-12 on district-owned 155-acre site south of the existing middle school.
- Reconfigure the current high school facility for use as a middle school for grades 6-8.
- Reconfigure the current middle school to serve as an intermediate school for grades 3-5.
- Reconfigure the current Prairie Elementary School to serve PK-2 programming.
- Discontinue use of the original West Learning Center Facility due to its age and need for extensive costly repairs, renovations and upgrades to meet current code and facility requirements.
New High School Facility:
The proposed new high school is planned to accommodate a capacity of 1,100 students and is planned to be 216,036 total square feet. It would be constructed on a district-owned 155-acre site located just south of the existing middle school.
Project Budget Summary (subtotals rounded slightly):
|New High School ||$50,830,500 |
|Site Development ||$1,700,000 |
|Off-Site Improvements ||$250,000 |
|Furniture, Fixtures, & Equipment ||$1,400,000 |
|Technology & Security ||$1,400,000 |
|Other Project Costs ||$300,000 |
|Professional Fees, Services, Plan Reviews,Permitting, etc ||$7,883,173 |
|Bond Issuance, Financing, etc. ||$1,032,170 |
|Project Contingency ||$3,694,635
| Rounding Amount ||$4,523 |
Moving on Over: Reconfiguring Existing Facilities
As the facilities committee worked to explore and evaluate various ways to solve the space shortages stemming from rapid and consistent enrollment growth, it became clear that in the near future the need for additional space would exist at all grade levels. For this reason, it was critical to arrive at a solution that addressed the need for all schools.
Although a major component of the proposed referendum is the development of a new high school, the proposed solution efficiently addresses space shortages across all grade levels by repurposing existing facilities for younger learners. The result will enable students to have access to amenities, labs and resources at a younger age. For instance, reconfiguring use of the existing high school for use as a middle school will expose 6th-8thgrade students to labs and specialty spaces that currently only exist within the high school facility. While younger students in grades 3-5 will now have access to some of the lab and specialty spaces that already exist within the current middle school facility.
For details about the referendum see our Fast Facts Flyer or Hoja De Respuestas Rápidas