Dublin middle schools are currently getting additional classrooms, but soon the district will turn its attention to three of its 12 elementary schools.

Dublin middle schools are currently getting additional classrooms, but soon the district will turn its attention to three of its 12 elementary schools.

Additions at Wright, Thomas and Wyandot elementary schools are in the design stages.

Superintendent David Axner said Bird Houk Collaborative is working with officials from Dublin and Columbus on the additions. Wright Elementary is located in Columbus.

"In the near future those plans should be completed and go to bid," he said.

The Dublin school board heard a quick rundown of the plans earlier this month.

Annette Morud, director of business affairs, said the construction would add four classrooms to all three of the elementary schools for about $2.5-million.

Gary Sebach of Bird Houk Collaborative told the board that construction wouldn't start until at least mid-August. The additions should be ready for students in fall 2012.

Unlike other construction projects going on around the district, the elementary school additions would not be fully funded by 2008 bond money.

"It's a combination," Axner told the Dublin Villager. "We have been successful in acquiring lower bids for current projects. ... We've been very efficient with current projects and we've been able to save to make money available for these classrooms."

With a favorable market for bidding construction projects, the district will combine savings from both the 2004 and 2008 bonds to fund the elementary school additions, Axner said.

The additions will help the district expand its Early ELI program, which targets kindergarteners who are behind their peers.

"It's really based on literacy," Axner said. "We have sections of six to eight students with a teacher, so there's a low student-to-teacher ratio. The emphasis is on assisting and helping students with English as a second language. They are way below where the average kindergartener would enter the school building. Our goal is to get them on an even keel with the rest of their classmates."

The all-day program technically isn't all-day kindergarten, but it will help the district prepare for the state mandated version. Dublin is one of many school districts asking the state for a waiver to delay the program, which the state said had to be instituted next year.

The district was required to submit a plan for the implementation of all-day kindergarten with its waiver, and the additions work into the plan to boost the Early ELI program over the next four years, when the district plans to start all-day kindergarten.

"We have an enrollment spike in the southern end of the district, so this is kind of two-fold if we extend the Early ELI units we have now," Axner said. "In the end if we do this (addition), staffing and space will be in a good position for (the all-day kindergarten mandates.)"

Axner said the district has received "verbal indications" its waiver will be accepted, but "we have no confirmation in writing.

"I'd be real surprised if we don't find out in the next few weeks."