School districts build, bulge


Most of the school districts in the fastest-growing county in the state are building to prepare for future growth, while another will have to wait for voters to approve funding.

Olentangy Local Schools is rapidly building a fourth high school on Berlin Station Road. In the tradition of Orange and Liberty, the high school will be named Berlin for the township in which its located. Currently, officials are looking at redistricting, with superintendent Mark Raiff having the final say.

The $69.6 million high school will be completed for the 2018-2019 school year.

Delaware City Schools continues to renovate and expand its present school buildings on the same footprint. The painstaking and ambitious project, in cooperation with the city’s Planning Commission, has included adding parking spaces, road improvements and demolishing blighted homes in the area.

The end of the last school year this spring was also the last for those attending Willis Intermediate School. Fifth-graders will go to the district’s elementary schools, while sixth-graders will attend Dempsey Middle School.

Buckeye Valley Local Schools recently had the 100-year-old Radnor school demolished to make way for two new elementary school buildings that are to completed for the 2018-19 school year. The new schools, which will be named next year with the help of the public, will be in Ashley and near Bellpoint in Concord Township. The old site will become a green space.

Voters in the BV district passed a $31.25 million bond issue in Nov. 2015 by a mere two votes.

The Delaware Area Career Center, which draws students from many central Ohio districts, is expanding its south campus on Route 23 and will eventually close its north campus. The consolidated campus, to be built in four phases, will open for the 2018-19 school year.

Ground was broken on the $45 million consolidation project at the end of September. The construction, which can be seen from the roadway, is said to have minimal disruption on students.

Big Walnut Local Schools is considering its next step after voters rejected a $133.9 million, 8.3-mil bond issue in November. If passed, the issue would have included the building of a larger high school.

Going back on the ballot in May would constitute a special election and additional cost, so returning to the ballot next November is likely. In the interim, district officials are discussing using trailers to cope with expanding classroom sizes.

By Gary Budzak

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Gary Budzak may be reached at 740-413-0906 or on Twitter @GaryBudzak.

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