Five Columbus City School District schools would be closed and thousands of students transferred to new schools next school year under sweeping recommendations from a citizens advisory panel Thursday, Aug. 30.

Among the myriad of changes the Facilities Task Force recommended:

‒ Close Marion-Franklin High School on the South Side and transfer its ninth- through 12th-grade students to the underutilized but renovated South High School, also on the South Side.

‒ Close Linden-McKinley STEM Academy in Linden and move its ninth- through 12th-grade students to the underutilized but renovated East High School on the Near East Side.

‒ Close Siebert Elementary School on the South Side, with its students going to Southwood and Stewart elementaries.

‒ Close Mifflin Middle School on the North Side, moving its students in grades six to nine to Medina Middle School in North Linden, adjusting enrollments at their feeder elementaries from K-6 to PreK-5.

‒ Convert the current Marion-Franklin High School building into a new middle school, doing away with the district’s current grade 7-12 program at South High. The combined Marion-Franklin/South school would be grades 9-12 only.

‒ Close Buckeye Middle School on the South Side, with its students transferring into the new Marion-Franklin Middle School along with sixth-graders reassigned from six South Side elementaries.

‒ Move Columbus North International, in the former North High School building in Clintonville, into the former Brookhaven High School, where it would share space with Columbus Global Academy, already located there.

‒ Move the overcrowded Dominion Middle School in Clintonville into the vacated former North High School building, while adding three new language-immersion programs there.

‒ Convert the current Linden-McKinley high school building into a new middle school, which would also house English as a Second Language students now currently at Medina and Mifflin middle schools.

‒ Adjust the attendance boundaries of numerous schools throughout the district.

The full plan will be available on the district’s website at https://www.ccsoh.us.

The citizen task force vote sets in motion a series of public meetings Sept. 10, 11, 13 and 20. Locations have not been announced. The task force will reconvene in early October to consider public input and vote on a final recommendation to the school board.

Left out of the reorganization was any new accommodations for Columbus Alternative High School, whose aging Linden building is badly deteriorating and not suited for high-school students because of restrooms and lockers originally constructed for younger grades. The committee approved a message to the school board that CAHS should be given priority for a new location.

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