Work has already begun on readying the former Verizon building on Emerald Parkway for Dublin City School District students next fall, and now the building has an official leader.

Kristy Venne, who serves as Dublin Jerome High School assistant principal, will begin Oct. 1 her new role as director of the district's new school at 5175 Emerald Parkway. Dublin Board of Education members approved her hiring Sept. 11.

Venne will have a salary of $89,542.80 and a benefits package of $26,862.84 for a total compensation of $116,405.64.

Venne's title conveys the unique role that the building, which has yet to be named, will have in the district, Superintendent Todd Hoadley said.

The school will not be a fourth high school, but rather will serve as a place for juniors and seniors to go for part of their day for career exploration programs, Hoadley said.

"This program will really be an extension of our four high schools," Hoadley said.

The district's career exploration program includes six areas, or academies, and students will begin visiting the new building for these programs in the fall, Hoadley said. Dublin schools will provide transportation to the building for those who do not have their own transportation.

The district's career exploration academies include the areas of biomedical research, business, teaching, engineering, information technology and college and career readiness.

Venne said she is still working with other members of the administration to determine whether all the programs within the academies will reside in the new building.

"We haven't made those final decisions yet because there's a lot of moving parts," she said.

Venne, who lives in Upper Arlington, has served as assistant principal at Dublin Jerome High School since August 2015.

Prior to that, she was assistant principal at New Albany High School. Her prior experience in the New Albany-Plain Local School District included dean of students for grades 9-12, and she also served as visual art teacher with that district.

Venne said her role as art teacher helped her approach education in a way that she can apply to this new role, Venne said.

At Jerome, she also worked with staff and community members to redesign classroom space.

Venne said her new role will require a good deal of innovation.

"We want to think differently about how we approach teaching and learning," she said.

Building progress

The district has allocated about $9 million to renovate the building, Hoadley said, but won't spend that all on the first wave of renovations.

In the fall, six programs will be available at the building, he said.

The district plans to add two or three new programs the following year, and two or three more the year after that.

Work has already begun on the building's elevators, and in early October a construction bid will go out to renovate the heating, ventilation and air-conditioning systems, Hoadley said.

Restroom renovations will begin in the next two to four weeks.

By the beginning of the year, the district will put out a bid for renovations related to the specific academies to be housed in the building.

Building code requires no students occupying the fourth floor, Hoadley said, and the district is exploring opportunities ranging from a professional development training center to renting space to governmental agencies and private sector businesses.

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