Written for ThisWeekNews Dublin Villager newspaper
At the Dublin Board of Education meeting, discussions continued about elementary school additions.
Throughout the month of November, representatives from the engineering architectural firm of Garmann/Miller Architects are scheduled to visit all 12 elementary schools with the goal of making a recommendation as to where four or five school additions will be constructed. As of Nov. 13, five buildings have been assessed.
Garmann/Miller will present a report of their findings at the first meeting in January. The company has previously collaborated with school districts in Findlay, Cedarville, Mansfield, and Lima.
Also in January, a Request for Qualifications for architect services will be examined to select a design firm. The design will take six to eight months, the bidding and award decision will take six to eight weeks and construction would be nine to eleven months.
These additions are part of the district’s effort to address enrollment growth issues.
“Our goal is to have the first additions open for students in the fall of 2016, with the remainder opening in the fall of 2017,” said Superintendent Dr. Todd Hoadley. “As we’ve stated throughout this process, we will keep our community informed on the progress of the projects.”
In other building improvement news, the board discussed that Davis Middle School needs a new gym floor and bleachers. No definite plans have been set yet.
Plans are also being discussed to expand Jerome’s science labs, due to overcrowding.
With more students and teachers, the district’s computer network was starting to run low on free space so the Board of Education approved the purchase of 45 terabytes of increased storage capacity and 45 terabytes in backup capacity. The two storage devices cost $78,287.28.
The meeting started with Riverside elementary’s new principal, Staci Lutz, leading ten students from the Student Leadership Team in the Pledge of Allegiance. Lutz has been serving as the interim principal at Riverside since February, when Connie Stitzlein was charged with assault after a domestic dispute.
There were about 100 community members in attendance at the meeting.
The meeting took place at the 1919 Building at 144 West Bridge St. at 7 p.m. and the next meeting will be Dec. 8 at the same location and same time.
In other school board news, 16 National Merit Semifinalists were honored by Dr. Dustin Miller, Director of Secondary Education for their academic accomplishment.
Students took the PSAT exam in order to qualify to be a National Merit Semifinalist. The city of Dublin had the most SemiFinalists of any Ohio school district.
Also, two Dublin City School teachers were honored with the Golden Shamrock Award for their dedication to education.
Secretary Pat Ford and teacher Gardner Watkins, both from Scioto, were honored with the lifetime achievement award.
Bob Scott, principal of Scioto, said that Gardner Watkins, a science teacher, exhibits enthusiasm for all facets of education.
“Kids learn tremendously [from Mr. Watkins] and don’t even know they are learning,” Scott read from one nomination.
When Scott introduced Ford, Scioto’s receptionist, he called her the “face of Scioto.”
“She takes a special interest in every staff and student and is a kind person to work with,” read Scott from a nomination.
In her acceptance speech, Ford said that she enjoys all the parents that come in.
Man, did I struggle with this article. It was my very first assignment and was supposed to go in last week’s issue. I thought it would be an easy assignment and maybe I just got cocky and didn’t pay attention hard enough. I turned off my voice recorder and didn’t take very detailed notes because I thought a video of the meeting would be posted online. Looking back, I think that was a stupid move. The video was not posted and I could not easily get a hold of an audio recording. To make things worse, I didn’t fully understand the meeting lingo and what was news and what was not. I reached out to my parents, my editor and the PR person for Dublin City Schools and they all helped me immensely.
Next time, I’m going to pay close attention to the whole meeting, record it, take notes and do a better job. Now, I know what I’m looking for and what to expect at the school board meetings.