On the same day ground was broken on a new high school, the Olentangy school board approved the purchase of an existing building and collective bargaining agreements with two school employee unions.
The Olentangy Academy at 7774 Graphics Way, Lewis Center, was purchased for $2,225,000 at the board meeting on June 9. Formerly a satellite campus for Ohio State University, the Academy is home to several of the district’s educational programs — the Academy for Community Transition; Mentorship; STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) Academy; and OASIS (Olentangy Academy: Supporting Individualized Success).
The Ohio Association of Public School Employees’ Local 039 and Local 322 have agreed to contract terms, from July 1, 2016, through June 30, 2017. Both unions will receive a 2.25 percent base wage increase.
Local 039 represents the district’s maintenance, custodial and field service staff; and Local 322 represents bus drivers. Early this year, the district’s teachers union agreed to a similar contract that expires June 30, 2017.
The district’s website said it is hiring bus drivers. To apply, visit www.olentangy.k12.oh.us or call the human resources department at 740-657-5056.
In addition, 2.25 percent salary increases were approved for district administrators; the superintendent; non-union classified employees; and non-union food service workers.
In other business, Superintendent Mark Raiff said he also wanted to come up with a new vision statement for the district.
Before the meeting, a groundbreaking was held at the site of the future fourth high school along Berlin Station Road in Berlin Township. Board members, Raiff and local dignitaries attended the ceremonial event.
District officials have said the new 303,000-square-foot school is necessary due to overcrowding. They project the existing three schools, designed to hold 4,800 students, would hold 6,600 students by the 2018-19 school year. Olentangy Local has been the state’s fastest-growing district for more than a decade.
Construction of the building, said to look like Orange High School, will be completed in summer 2018, and open for the 2018-19 school year. Fanning Howey Associates is the architect; Gilbane Building Co. is the construction manager.
Redistricting the attendance boundaries for the schools is expected to take place during the 2016-17 school year. This will determine who attends the new school.
The board said that public input for naming the district’s fourth high school would take place in August, and the name would be announced in September.
Gary Budzak may be reached at 740-413-0906 or on Twitter @ GaryBudzak.