The Grandview Heights City School District's master facilities planning process is making significant progress.

For more than two years, district leaders have been working with community members and construction-industry experts to explore and develop a plan for the future of our schools.

Our research has shown the biggest threat to our financial future is the condition of our school buildings, as the cost to maintain them grows each year. A recent analysis revealed it would cost $44 million just to address the current deferred-maintenance needs of all our school buildings.

As we continue to work through the process, the most important part of the plan is resident feedback. After all, it is your input that guides the work that ultimately will become our master facilities plan.

We also want to present all information in the most transparent manner possible, and I am pleased to provide you with an update on the work thus far.

We are now in the options phase of the process. In May, we presented seven options to our community. The goal was to provide residents with a variety of concepts to consider for the future of our schools. All ideas were on the table. They ranged from minimal patching and repairing to renovating all of our school buildings to an entirely new K-12 campus. We also provided options that included a combination of some new builds and some renovations of current buildings.

More than 560 respondents provided feedback via an online survey as well as in the form of an "exit ticket" from the May community engagement meeting. For a community of about 6,500 residents, that is impressive! Thank you to everyone who has joined the conversation.

After collecting and analyzing the data from the first online survey, evaluating the exit tickets and conducting a focus group that targeted empty-nesters, we found the results pointed the district in a clear direction that narrowed the options from seven to three for presentation at the June 8 community engagement meeting. Those three options are:

* Make only modest repairs to all three school buildings. This option would not fully address all of the repairs and maintenance issues, nor would it update the learning environments. This option is estimated to cost $30 million to $35 million and leaves unaddressed issues that would need further attention.

* Renovate and repair the three existing school buildings in their current locations. This option would address identified repair and maintenance issues, plus make some spaces more conducive to teaching and learning. This option is estimated to cost $50 million to $55 million.

* Repair and renovate Stevenson Elementary School, build a new school for grades 4-8, and repair and renovate Grandview Heights High School. This option would address all identified repairs and maintenance issues, make some spaces more conducive to teaching and learning, and allow for increased operational efficiency. This option is estimated to cost $45 million to $50 million.

Mark your calendar now to attend the next community engagement meeting, set for 6:30 p.m. Aug. 3, in the John Glenn Community Center at Edison Intermediate/Larson Middle School, 1240 Oakland Ave.

In addition, we are asking residents to consider hosting a neighborhood coffee for a more in-depth conversation about our process. If you are interested, please email us at

Thank you again for joining the conversation and being a part of this important process. I look forward to seeing you Aug. 3.

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