Work is underway on both construction and curriculum to get the new state-funded Marysville Early College High School and Union County Innovation Center ready for students this fall.
Marysville school district Superintendent Diane Mankins gave the school board an update on the project at its Thursday, Jan. 16, meeting.
Mankins participated in a panel discussion at the Columbus Metropolitan Club on Wednesday, Jan. 15, about the Ohio Department of Education's new Straight A Fund, from which Marysville received a $12.4 million grant as seed money to start the school.
"We were able to share elements of our grants and tell our story. It was a great day," she said. "We had fantastic response. As a matter of fact, I left with a card of a man who wants to start a business in Union County and is interested in partnering. So it was a great opportunity."
The Ohio Hi-Point Joint Vocational School District, Columbus State Community College, Honda of America Manufacturing, the Union County Chamber of Commerce and EDWorks will work with Marysville schools to create the high school and innovation center.
Ohio's first manufacturing-related early college high school will focus on the STEM disciplines -- science, technology, engineering and mathematics -- and will be housed in the old middle school at 833 N. Maple St.
Mankins said there is much to do to get the school ready in just seven months.
School officials have had four curriculum meetings, including one Jan. 16 with Columbus State, to develop the specific career pathways. They are trying to determine what courses students in grades 9-12 will need to pursue the manufacturing and information technology pathways.
"We are going to have an articulation agreement with Columbus State. They have a 2+2 program with Ohio State and Miami University," Mankins said. "So students graduating with their associate's degree from us will gain acceptance into those institutions to finish out their bachelor's degree, depending on their program."
Mankins also met with the project contractor, Ruscilli Construction Co. Inc.
"We're a little behind in the construction realm, but we'll catch up," she said.
Mankins said the YMCA and Marysville High School gymnastics teams that practice in the school's gym will not be affected by the construction.
Administrators are working to determine what equipment must be ordered for the new school.
"Some of the equipment we have to order has almost a two-month lead time, so we're getting that organized also," Mankins said.
Next week, administrators will meet with the project architect, OHM Advisors.
Starting in February, a representative of Ruscilli as well as Kathy McKinniss, the new school's principal, will attend board meetings to provide regular updates.
In other business, Mankins said progress is continuing on a student exchange program with Marysville's sister city, Yorii, Japan. She will meet with Marysville Mayor John Gore and Union County Economic Development Executive Director Eric Phillips next week to finalize the details.
"Yorii's mayor requested an itinerary, or what students might be doing, if he could send them in August," Mankins said.
Yorii Mayor Makoto Shimada's budget is due in March, and he wants the proposal now so he can work with his council to get the budget approved.
Mankins said she does not know how many students will be involved in the program. The district is working with Ohio State University and the University of Findlay, both of which have worked on similar exchange efforts.