A decision on how to deal with overcrowded Dublin City Schools could come as soon as September.
Dublin Board of Education members heard a few options for dealing with overcrowded elementary schools this summer, and the district is looking for community input at two public meetings slated this month.
The public will hear about two options the district is considering at 7 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 14, in the Scioto High School cafeteria, 4000 Hard Road, and at 7 p.m. Aug. 21 in the Coffman High School lecture hall, 6780 Coffman Road.
"It's really important as we consider how we're going to address these facility issues that we have input from the community," Superintendent Todd Hoadley said.
One option the district is considering is building elementary 13 on Bright Road instead of in Jerome Village. The district is experiencing growth and seeing overcrowded classrooms in its southern and eastern portions, as well as at Glacier Ridge Elementary School.
A new elementary school would add an additional $1.9 million in annual operating costs and would also require redistricting. The option would also take two years to complete.
The other option that has received informal support from school board members focuses on using $14.5 million in funds approved by voters in 2008 for elementary 13 and instead constructing additions at five elementary schools where the district is seeing the most growth.
That option would be quicker than building a new school, minimize redistricting and save in operating costs, Hoadley said.
"It's a much shorter timeline for additions," he said. "If we go down that pathway, it's very likely those additions open by the start of next school year. A new building takes two years. Another benefit is that it's not only cheaper operationally, but it can be handled quickly."
That option would probably include an addition at Jerome High School, which is also seeing growth.
"What we would likely do is put an addition onto Jerome High School and stretch the dollar amount further than the elementaries," Hoadley said.
Before the district moves forward, however, it wants feedback on repurposing the funds earmarked for a 13th elementary school in Jerome Village.
The district already issued an online survey and received support for repurposing the funds for additions at several schools.
"While our board has shown informal support, what they'll look for me to do is make a formal recommendation and then vote by resolution to show formal support," Hoadley said. "I'd like to have a recommendation I can put forth for the board to consider in September."
The recommendation will be based on community input, Hoadley said.
"If we can get that support finalized and pass a resolution of support in September, then we can start work with architects and legal counsel," he said.