The Dublin City School District community has shown an interest in the possibility of a non-traditional high school, according to Superintendent Todd Hoadley.

The Dublin City School District community has shown an interest in the possibility of a non-traditional high school, according to Superintendent Todd Hoadley.

"Pretty much all of the community forums have leaned toward the exploration of a non-traditional high school," Hoadley said.

District officials have scheduled public meetings for input on four options for dealing with space needs. The options include:

* Option A -- A combination preschool/elementary school for the district's 13th elementary, a 14th elementary school, a fifth middle school and fourth high school for about $157 million.

* Option B -- A preschool/elementary combination for the 13th elementary, a grades K-8 configuration for the 14th elementary school and fifth middle school and a fourth high school for $156 million.

* Option C -- A preschool/elementary school combination for the 13th elementary school, a 14th elementary, a fifth middle school, non-traditional high school space and additions to Jerome and Scioto high schools for an estimated $148 million.

* Option D -- A preschool/elementary school combination, a K-8 configuration for the 14th elementary school and fifth middle school, non-traditional high school space and additions to Jerome and Scioto High School for about $147 million.

District officials had the last of three community meetings explaining the options March 31 in John Sells Middle School.

Hoadley said he and Chief Operating Officer Brion Deitsch have also spoken to community homeowner associations, the PTO council, the senior council and the business advisory council.

"All of those groups represent different segments of our community," Hoadley said.

Hoadley said there have been more similarities than differences in the feedback the meetings have received, and two topics have generated the most questions.

The first is the concept of having a fourth high school verses the idea of a non-traditional high school, he said.

The non-traditional concept would involve looking at different types of spaces in the city's commercial office areas for special programming, Hoadley said.

That area has a 10- to 15-percent vacancy rate.

While the district's existing high schools cater to students interested in college prep, the district needs programming for students looking into career or vocational avenues, Hoadley said.

"We don't have a lot of participation currently in those types of pathways," he said.

Opportunities for partnerships exist with the city and private sector entities, Hoadley said.

District officials have had collaborative conversations with Ohio University about the possibility of a medical program for high school students that could coexist with the university's Dublin campus. That arrangement would allow students to interact with medical students, professors and technology.

"We just think there's great potential there," Hoadley said.

The Dublin Entrepreneurial Center has also been identified as a possible opportunity for students, he said.

The second topic of interest during forums has been the option for a K-8 facility, Hoadley said.

"That's a new model for Dublin schools," he said.

Questions posed have given district officials the opportunity to explain to parents that the design would operate so that students wouldn't be intermingling, he said.

District officials will continue to discuss the master plan at stakeholder meetings in April, public information officer Doug Baker said. An online parent survey will also be released this month.

Baker said nine community members attended the March 31 community meeting at Sells, a number on par with attendance at the previous two meetings.

During the meeting, Deitsch responded to a number of questions from attendees.

One question centered on how seating capacity in the non-traditional high school would work. Deitsch said he estimated that 300-500 students would use it, although proximity would affect how it is used.

He said the space would not be as far from the district as Tolles Career and Technical Center in Plain City. He also discussed the likelihood of students using non-traditional space for just one of their daily classes.

Responding to a comment that operating cost could factor into choosing one of the four options, Deitsch said district officials would share that information once an option is determined.

District officials are expected to give board members a recommendation to adopt April 22, Deitsch said.

Discussion also centered around the option for a K-8 building, with district parent Tracie Bourquin wondering whether middle school students within the building would have an advantage over their peers who had attended kindergarten and elementary elsewhere in the district.

"It's not a deal-breaker, it's just something to consider," Bourquin said.

Bourquin said she favors an addition to an existing high school over building a new one. That option would be an easier sell for those who might not have children within the district, she said.

Additionally, allowing people to voice concerns now about the four options will allow for a smoother process, she said.

"I just am very grateful that they are trying to be very transparent, to give the opportunity for community members to give feedback," Bourquin said.