Orange barrels likely will line Orange Road between South Old State and Bale Kenyon roads next year, as the east-west stretch is widened to accommodate more traffic and three new schools.

Orange barrels likely will line Orange Road between South Old State and Bale Kenyon roads next year, as the east-west stretch is widened to accommodate more traffic and three new schools.

The Olentangy school board this month unanimously approved the granting of easements to Orange Township, to allow construction to begin.

Widening the road will affect three schools -- Orange High School, Orange Middle School and a new elementary school now under construction.

The widening will include the addition of roundabouts to help improve traffic flow and safety.

Construction is being funded by Orange Township and is expected to start in the spring.

Also at its meeting, the board heard the first reading of proposed names for three schools:

Elementary No. 13, near the intersection of Bale Kenyon and E. Orange roads: Freedom Trail Elementary, a nod to the historical operation of Underground Railroad sites in the area.

Elementary No. 14, near the intersection of Cheshire and Gregory roads: Cheshire Elementary, after Fort Cheshire, which stood in the area near the Alum Creek Dam during the War of 1812.

Middle School No. 5, on Three B's & K Road: Olentangy Berkshire, after the township in which it stands and for which one of the three "B's" in the street name stands for. The proposed mascot for the middle school is the Sentinel.

The board will vote on adopting the names and mascot at the Oct. 28 meeting.

In other business, the district again was recognized for having obtained the highest rating available on its state report card for the sixth consecutive year.

Jennifer H. Stewart, vice president of the state board of education, presented district officials with a banner recognizing the honor, which was achieved by only 12 percent of all public school districts in Ohio during the 2007-08 school year.

Olentangy was rated "excellent with distinction." Districts must meet at least 94 percent of the state's report card indicators to qualify.

Olentangy met 29 out of 30, for 97 percent.

The next school board meeting will be at 6 p.m. Oct. 28, at the administrative offices, 814 Shanahan Road.