Dublin Villager

Board hears three options for crowded schools

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Plans for dealing with crowded Dublin elementary schools could be in place before the school year ends.

The Dublin City School District Board of Education last week heard three solutions for dealing with crowded elementary schools, particularly those on the south and east sides of the district.

In January, the board was told enrollment at eight elementary schools exceeded capacity, although Chapman Elementary, Riverside Elementary, Olde Sawmill Elementary, Thomas Elementary and Wright Elementary schools are of particular concern.

A band-aid solution was offered to board members, but it would only help through 2016.

"It doesn't solve the problem," Joe Riedel, who handles enrollment for the district, told board members. "We need another elementary."

The band-aid solution would shift some students from Riverside to Indian Run Elementary School and some Indian Run students north to Bailey Elementary School.

In the northwest corner of the district where the Tartan Ridge and Jerome Village housing developments are starting to see growth, students would be shifted to Pinney Elementary School to ease overcrowding at Glacier Ridge Elementary School.

The district would try to maintain a neighborhood school feeling when selecting students to move, Riedel said.

The other options presented to the board of education included construction.

Option two would include using 2008 bond funds to build "elementary school 13" on 18 acres the district owns off Bright Road.

"We would take kids from Chapman, Indian Run and Wright and move them to the new elementary," said Ralph Feasel, who also helps with enrollment planning in the district.

Students could also be shifted around in other elementary schools on the south and east side of the district to ease crowding.

The second option, however, does have additional downsides.

Doug Baker, district coordinator of public information said schools take about 18 months to build. The district would also have to find funding to staff the building, Feasel said.

The third option for the district is to build elementary 13 in the northwest corner of the school district and add onto Chapman, Riverside and Scottish Corners elementary schools.

Something would also need to be done to Wright Elementary, but Riedel said options are still being considered.

Funding for additions to the elementary schools and additional staff for a 13th elementary would also be needed for the third option.

As the school board mulls options to deal with crowding, the public will also be brought in on the discussion.

"We'll roll this out to stakeholders in the spring," Baker said.

Decisions will need to be made by the end of the school year, Superintendent Todd Hoadley said, so financial and building plans can be made.

"I want to have something firmed up before the end of the school year," he said.

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