Two plans for education-related buildings in Worthington were tabled March 28 by the Worthington's architectural-review board and municipal-planning commission, but one is expected back on the agenda almost immediately.
That project involves modular classrooms at Evening Street Elementary School, 885 Evening St., to help with increasing enrollment, according to Worthington Schools leaders.
As of a January 2019 enrollment report on worthington.k12.oh.us, kindergarten-to-fifth-grade enrollment at Evening Street is 515 students for the 2018-19 school year. Five years ago, in the 2014-15 school year, K-5 enrollment was 462. In four years, during the 2022-23 school year, K-5 enrollment is estimated at 570.
The trend matches overall Worthington Schools enrollment, which currently is 10,276 but is projected to reach 11,546 by the 2024-25 school year, according to the January report.
The modular classrooms at Evening Street would consist of one building south of the elementary school on a portion of the blacktop playground, according to Lynda Bitar, a city planner for Worthington.
"We looked at a number of alternative locations," said Jeff Eble, director of business services for Worthington Schools.
He said other potential locations were not safe for students.
According to the plan presented to the ARB, the building would have six classrooms and two restrooms. The building would be 70 feet wide by 80 feet long and finished with a faux red brick.
Eble said he was not sure of the grades using the classrooms or how long the structure would need to be in place, but the district would use four years as a reassessment point.
"This is not the preference of Worthington Schools," he said.
The ARB tabled the plan in order to have staff members look at the location of the building and the screening out front. Secretary Kathy Holcombe made a motion to table the plan and have the district come back in two weeks with changes.
The other proposal is for a Goddard School at 6699 N. High St.
Samantha Elliott is the franchise owner of the proposed preschool. She also is a franchise owner for two other Goddard schools, at 694 Mount Airyshire Blvd. in Columbus and at 2585 London-Groveport Road in Grove City.
ThisWeek could not reach Elliott for comment before press time.
According to Bitar, the proposal would involve dividing about 1 acre from the northern part of the 4-acre lot at the same address that is used by Schoedinger Funeral Home and Cremation Services.
Bitar said the area is used as a parking lot for the funeral home.
The proposed building would be a single story and could accommodate 175 full-time students.
Johnathan Grubb, lead designer for Architectural Alliance, which is handling the design, presented the project to the board.
"I think, big picture, this is a good opportunity of taking an underutilized parking lot and really maximizing its use," he said.
Board members provided some initial comments on the general design and dividing the lot.
"It feels like there could be a few other considerations about the proportions," said ARB member Edwin Hofmann.
Several comments were made about bollards, short, concrete-filled posts that are intended to prevent cars from crashing into buildings, that are shown around the front of the school.
"I think it could be done in an architectural way," said Andy English, partner and principal architect of PlanIt Studios, who is handling landscape architecture for the project.
The plan was tabled by the board for additional documents that are needed. Grubb said the plan is to come back before the board as soon as possible.
"We wanted to get you the site design, the layout, the architecture because we're still missing the actual required documents needed," said Lee Brown, director of planning and building for Worthington.
Brown said the applicant originally focused on the northern portion of the lot, not the entire lot.
The additional documents are required for the plan to be approved and moved on to Worthington City Council, he said.