August 23, 2012
Olentangy’s development committee was charged with a new task Wednesday: studying facilities’ effective development as part of Project 2020.
The project, led by Superintendent Wade Lucas, was initiated in January to explore options for handling the district’s growth.
One goal of the project is to “reduce or delay” the need for a fourth high school — which the development committee’s 2009 enrollment projections suggested could be necessary for the 2015-16 school year.
The development committee, per the board’s request, is “to look at what we’re doing with our facilities, to challenge what we’re doing with our facilities, and to contantly be looking forward,” said board member Dave King.
The request includes studying the opportunities and constraints of Olentangy’s buildings and sites.
That study may explore shared uses, separate single-use buildings, expansion, space reallocation and reconfiguring grade levels, as well as infrastructure and support activities, such as parking, queing and food service.
The development committee will also consider the impact of scheduling, curriculum, extra-curriculars and technology.
As the internet and online learning has extended the typical school day, Lucas suggested that developments in web-based education could positively impact the need for physical school space, for example.
The study is also to include the feasibility of the district’s current school buildings to accommodate the projected population.
King said that Olentangy is facing many challenges, yet “with challenges come opportunities.”
“The 15-year effectiveness of the development committee is well-established,” said King. “Its research and opinions will be an important part of the 2020 study.”
Board president Julie Wagner Feasel clarified that the special election campaign “has nothing to do” with the hypothetical fourth high school.
“In fact, this development committee is going to be looking at if that is necessary for the future,” she continued.