Columbus City Schools leaders, having heard an earful from affected parents, quickly moved forward Feb. 19 with a plan to address crowded conditions at Dominion Middle School, 330 Dominion Blvd., that would involve six buildings.
"Over the past three months, members of the board and district staff have heard feedback from several students, families, staff, and community members and have taken a closer look at the recommendation," the district announced in a written statement Feb. 19.
The plan includes:
* Columbus North International (grades 7-12) leaving the former North High School building on East Arcadia Avenue to co-locate with Columbus Global Academy (grades 6-12) at the former Brookhaven High School site for the start of the 2019-20 school year.
* Dominion Middle School moving to the former North High School building in early 2020, in the middle of the school year.
* Opening of a new middle school language-immersion program, along with the relocation of grades 6-8 at Columbus Global Academy, in the current Dominion site for the start of the 2020-21 year. Current sixth-grade students at Ecole Kenwood French Immersion, Columbus Spanish Immersion Academy and Hubbard Mastery would remain at those three schools for seventh grade during the 2019-20 school year, what the district called a "one-time, one-year-only expansion of the programs" at those three schools.
This "modified approach" addresses concerns raised by a facilities task force to eliminate crowded conditions at Dominion and grade-banding by providing separate middle school and high school experiences for students, the district's statement said.
The plan to move Dominion into the current North High building also would eliminate community rumors of splitting or removing elementary schools from the current Whetstone/Dominion feeder pattern.
Some parents were concerned Dominion would become a Clintonville-only school, with students from other neighborhoods being reassigned to new buildings to ease crowding.
"If the board approves the multiphase modified recommendation, the district will begin planning for needed maintenance projects at the three buildings to be impacted," the statement said.
Also Feb. 19, the board thanked interim Superintendent John Stanford, who has headed the district for the past 13 months as the board searched for a permanent replacement to former Superintendent Dan Good.
Stanford was a finalist for the permanent job.