The work of our Facilities Task Force is well underway.

The work of our Facilities Task Force is well underway.

The community-led group, which includes experts in the construction industry, continues to meet to help the district explore what options should be taken to address the Grandview Heights City School District's aging school buildings. The group has been an excellent sounding board for our district leaders and has provided thoughtful input and feedback both as professionals and community members.

During the last 18 months, the school district engaged the Ohio Facilities Construction Commission and K-12 Business Solutions to analyze the current condition of our school buildings. Through this extensive research, we learned the yearly costs to maintain and upgrade our current infrastructure and classrooms will continue to rise and are not going away.

After reviewing this information, the task force's initial responsibilities included helping the school board select a design team to guide the community through the K-12 planning process. The school district hired HPG Harrison Planning Group LLC to assess our facilities and to help guide collaboration between the school district and the community. The firm is a frequent visitor to our schools and is in the process of conducting a comprehensive assessment of our K-12 facilities.

We will analyze the operational efficiencies of our school buildings and exploring our classrooms to determine if they provide the appropriate learning spaces needed for our students to be successful in the modern world.

Once this extensive research is complete, our next steps are centered on community engagement. This process will include several communitywide forums as well as building-based meetings, during which we will share what we have learned and garner feedback. The dates and times of these meeting will be posted soon. Your voice matters in any decision we make and the process will dictate the outcome.

Please know that we are only in the assessment phase of our K-12 facilities planning process; thus, no plans or discussions about our facilities have yet taken place.

Ensuring our students have access to a modern learning environment, similar to the environments they will encounter in today's colleges and the work force, is vital to their success. We also must ensure we use our facility funds and taxpayer dollars in the most efficient manner possible.

As our facility planning work continues, we encourage you to be a part of the process. In working together, we can make sure our schools are the best they can be for generations to come.

Andy Culp is superintendent of the Grandview Heights City School District.