The Dublin City School District's Emerald Campus opened for the new school year Aug. 15, housing a Career Exploration Academies program that has doubled in size from last year.

About 450 students are enrolled in academies this year, compared to last year's enrollment of about 220 students, said Kristy Venne, director at the Emerald Campus, 5175 Emerald Parkway.

"We were pleasantly surprised that they were excited to travel to the new building," she said.

The goal of the campus and academies program is to create new learning opportunities for students, said Superintendent Todd Hoadley.

"The vision of this is not a fourth high school," he said.

Renovations for the building began in April and cost approximately $10 million, said Doug Baker, district spokesman.

The district celebrated conclusion of renovations with an open house Aug. 10. The district purchased the Emerald Campus building for $9.4 million from Valley Equity LLC in March 2017.

A little more than 1,100 students from all three high schools will spend a portion of their day in the building, Venne said.

A majority of these students are in academies or enrolled in college credit plus courses through Columbus State Community College, she said.

The academies feature topics including engineering, biomedical research, business, teaching, professional development, IT networking and routing and IT programming.

Venne said she attributes the uptick in academy enrollment to a strong student-to-student and student-to-parent communication campaign as well as the new building.

The building also houses a program for students with disabilities who attend high school within the district and receive skills for independent living as well as a program for alternative learning for high school students in the district.

As the district faces increased enrollment, officials have begun trying to determine how the Emerald Campus will affect crowding at Coffman, Jerome and Scioto high schools.

For the 2018-19 school year, Scioto High School is projected to be 197 students under its 1,552-student capacity. With the Emerald Campus, that number increases to 265 students under capacity. By the 2022-23 school year, Scioto would be 158 students under capacity.

For the 2018-19 school year, Coffman High School is projected to be 145 students over its 1,762-student capacity. With the Emerald Campus, Coffman's enrollment would only be over capacity by 11 students. By the 2022-23 school year, Coffman would be over capacity by 52 students.

For the 2018-19 school year, Jerome is projected to be over its 1,524-student capacity by 221 students.

With the Emerald Campus, Jerome's enrollment would only be over capacity by 134 students. By the 2022-23 school year, Jerome would be over capacity by 311 students.

"It is difficult to anticipate the number of kids that will choose to take part in the (Emerald Campus programs) so we made the best estimation we could," said Tracey Miller, deputy superintendent.

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