Five Options for Future

by Rene Garrett

Published 6/20/16 ohiocom/Akron Beacon Journal, Writer Colette Jenkins.

Members of the Akron Board of Education and Akron City Council are reviewing five options presented Monday by Akron Public Schools Superintendent David James for configuring the district to incorporate one new high school that could be built using state funding.

Those options include a five high-school plan with building closures, combining high schools and moving high school students into newly constructed middle schools that have space available. None of the options include changes at Ellet Community Learning Center, where construction is slated to begin next spring.

The information was outlined during a joint meeting between the school board and city council, who have partnered since 2003 (with the Ohio Facilities Construction Commission) to renovate and construct school buildings throughout the district.

The rare joint meeting took place at the Akron-Summit County Public Library before a standing–room only crowd of about 100 people. No public comments or questions were taken.

The project was initially expected to cost $774 million and include 58 buildings. Because enrollment has dropped from 30,511 in 2002 to a current population of 20,990, the project has been pared down to 34 buildings with a price tag of $708 million. During that same time frame, construction costs have climbed from $160 per square foot to $242 per square foot.

The project is funded in part by a 0.25 percent increase to the city income tax that voters approved in 2003, with the state paying 59 percent toward construction and renovations of school district buildings.

With 29 buildings completed, two under construction (Firestone/Litchfield and Harris community learning centers) and two in design (Ellet and Case community learning centers), the state has said that based on enrollment projections, it will only provide an additional $25 million in funding for one more high school and will not fund any more elementary or middle schools in the city. Read more at >>.

Published 6/20/16 ohiocom/Akron Beacon Journal, Writer Colette Jenkins.

Members of the Akron Board of Education and Akron City Council are reviewing five options presented Monday by Akron Public Schools Superintendent David James for configuring the district to incorporate one new high school that could be built using state funding.

Those options include a five high-school plan with building closures, combining high schools and moving high school students into newly constructed middle schools that have space available. None of the options include changes at Ellet Community Learning Center, where construction is slated to begin next spring.

The information was outlined during a joint meeting between the school board and city council, who have partnered since 2003 (with the Ohio Facilities Construction Commission) to renovate and construct school buildings throughout the district.

The rare joint meeting took place at the Akron-Summit County Public Library before a standing–room only crowd of about 100 people. No public comments or questions were taken.

The project was initially expected to cost $774 million and include 58 buildings. Because enrollment has dropped from 30,511 in 2002 to a current population of 20,990, the project has been pared down to 34 buildings with a price tag of $708 million. During that same time frame, construction costs have climbed from $160 per square foot to $242 per square foot.

The project is funded in part by a 0.25 percent increase to the city income tax that voters approved in 2003, with the state paying 59 percent toward construction and renovations of school district buildings.

With 29 buildings completed, two under construction (Firestone/Litchfield and Harris community learning centers) and two in design (Ellet and Case community learning centers), the state has said that based on enrollment projections, it will only provide an additional $25 million in funding for one more high school and will not fund any more elementary or middle schools in the city. Read more at >>.