Dublin Villager

Issue 48

Davis commons to be improved if voters say 'yes'

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Lines can be long at Davis Middle School when taco salad is on the menu.

According to principal Brian Lidle, lunch is sometimes extended so students have time to eat their lunches; lines tend to back up in the crowded middle school commons area used for lunch.

An expansion to the commons area at Davis Middle School is planned if the 6.94-mill levy and bond issue on the Nov. 6 ballot is approved by voters.

Issue 48 includes a 6.4-mill operating levy and $15.87-million bond issue for Dublin City Schools.

If approved by voters this fall, the levy would cost residents of the district an additional $213 per $100,000 assessed home value each year.

Along with maintenance, technology and equipment, Davis Middle School is one of three schools planned for improvements if Issue 48 passes.

Lidle said the need is there.

"The first things is just the physical structure of our commons is the best area and only area to have students for lunch," he said.

"It's small considering the current enrollment," Lidle said. "At this point we have well over 900 kids and it's just packed."

The school was expanded with funds from the $50 million bond issue passed in 2008, but the commons area was not touched.

"The problem is that in the past few years ... there's been quite a bit of growth in that area on the eastern side of the river that Davis serves," said Annette Morud, district director of business affairs.

"We added onto that building from the 2008 bond issue and did additional building to accommodate students, but the commons area hasn't grown in size."

The kitchen area of the school will also get improvements if the bond issue passes, although it will get some funding from food services.

Morud said the district has $400,000 of potential bond funds budgeted for the improvements.

"That doesn't include whatever food services would put in for the kitchen part of it," she said. "That's primarily for expanding the commons area."

The problem in the kitchen is space and the area students pick up their lunch is not set up efficiently, Lidle said.

"The kitchen area in and of itself where the kids move through to get lunch has long lines," he said.

"It's due to restricted space... . That staff back there works extremely hard to work quickly and efficiently to get kids through the line, but when you have something that's kid's favorite like taco salad that line is very long because kids want taco salad."

Students, however, aren't forced to abandon lunch.

"We do have trouble with that," Lidle said.

"When we run into that we'll hold them to make sure they get time to eat so they don't rush through," he said. "It has an impact on class time, but we have to make sure they get fed."

The commons area is also used for meetings and gatherings.

"It's used for a lot of things and even with parent meetings it's very tight and parents are standing up against the wall," Lidle said.

No plans for the project are in place yet, but Morud said the commons area will be expanded and the food service area will be renovated, if the bond issue passes.

"It's really about using space efficiently and making sure kids have a proper place to have lunch and have a space to fit the number of kids in the building and the parents that come along with that," Lidle said.

"This isn't a comfort thing," he said.

"This is a necessity that has to be done in order for the school to work effectively and efficiently."

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