Update: Garfield, Kenmore, North

by Rene Garrett

(For more information and articles about the Community Learning Centers project, visit the website.)

This week, Akron Public Schools Superintendent David W. James has met with families in the Kenmore, Garfield and North high schools' community to discuss options and take questions about the future of the high school and the final phase of the 15-year plan to rebuild schools.

James reported that the state of Ohio plans to fund fewer students than previously determined (39 fewer) and will authorize payment for only one more building.

Instead of funding for 1,254 students, that has decreased to 1,215. The state says APS overbuilt for 368 middle school students and for 81 elementary students, according to the superintendent. He went on to indicate APS will work with the state to see if that number will change the amount they will fund.

The board of education, the city of Akron and the Ohio Facilities Construction Commission have partnered since 2003 to construct 29 community learning centers, or schools, with two more under construction and two in the design phase (Case and Ellet).

Mr. James presented five options being considered for configuring the district to incorporate one new high school that could be built using state funding.

All five options include eventually closing both the Kenmore and North high school buildings. Two of them allow Kenmore to move into the new Innes Community Learning Center, which currently houses middle school students.  There is also an option for North to move into Jennings CLC Middle School and to build a new Garfield High School and combine it with Roswell Kent Middle School (as APS has done with Litchfield/Firestone, Perkins/Buchtel and Goodyear/ East.)

A decision is needed about where and when to build the final high school before the next enrollment projection in October. Another decline could shrink the amount of state funding. Before this week’s projection was received, the state had committed $25 million to construct a high school.

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.

(For more information and articles about the Community Learning Centers project, visit the website.)

This week, Akron Public Schools Superintendent David W. James has met with families in the Kenmore, Garfield and North high schools' community to discuss options and take questions about the future of the high school and the final phase of the 15-year plan to rebuild schools.

James reported that the state of Ohio plans to fund fewer students than previously determined (39 fewer) and will authorize payment for only one more building.

Instead of funding for 1,254 students, that has decreased to 1,215. The state says APS overbuilt for 368 middle school students and for 81 elementary students, according to the superintendent. He went on to indicate APS will work with the state to see if that number will change the amount they will fund.

The board of education, the city of Akron and the Ohio Facilities Construction Commission have partnered since 2003 to construct 29 community learning centers, or schools, with two more under construction and two in the design phase (Case and Ellet).

Mr. James presented five options being considered for configuring the district to incorporate one new high school that could be built using state funding.

All five options include eventually closing both the Kenmore and North high school buildings. Two of them allow Kenmore to move into the new Innes Community Learning Center, which currently houses middle school students.  There is also an option for North to move into Jennings CLC Middle School and to build a new Garfield High School and combine it with Roswell Kent Middle School (as APS has done with Litchfield/Firestone, Perkins/Buchtel and Goodyear/ East.)

A decision is needed about where and when to build the final high school before the next enrollment projection in October. Another decline could shrink the amount of state funding. Before this week’s projection was received, the state had committed $25 million to construct a high school.

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.