The Olentangy Local School District (OLSD) was hard at work this summer making various improvements across its ever-growing footprint. During last week’s meeting of the Olentangy Board of Education, Director of Business Management and Facilities Jeff Gordon updated the board on some of the projects that were completed ahead of the 2021-22 school year.
“We talked earlier on the big projects — the opening of Shale Meadows and, of course, the start of middle school (number) six. These are some of the other things that we were able to accomplish this summer with the community’s support and passing of the bond, and being able to bring those items that we had on the bond issue that was passed in 2020 back to the community.”
Among those projects were new security vestibules being added to three high schools, two middle schools, and 11 elementary schools across the district ahead of this school year. In addition to the security vestibules, OLSD upgraded 15 playgrounds to include soft surfaces and handicap-accessible equipment. Each of the playgrounds were ready for students at the start of the school year.
Gordon said of the playground improvements, “Some of the enjoyable things about these projects is we had a student at Scioto Ridge (Elementary School ) whose mom called the principal and said, ‘My son was so happy today. He came home from school and said it was the best day of his life. He was able to go everywhere on the playground that his friends went, and he was able to go on the big (playground) structure.’
“Another principal called me and put a student on who thanked us for the playground that they’re building as well. So it’s nice that we do that. In my role, I don’t always get to see the students as much, so it’s nice to hear that feedback on these really nice things.”
Gordon said the district also worked with the media center specialists at three high schools over the summer to make improvements to their media centers, noting the projects are a continuation of what those specialists have already been doing for the past few years. The carpets were replaced in two of the middle school media centers.
“A lot of the high schools and middle schools had already started down a path over the last several years of doing renovations, so we worked with them to give them a budget to continue going down the path they already went on,” Gordon told the board.
Upgrades to the elementary media centers have been planned and are expected to be done next summer, according to Gordon.
Other projects completed this summer were repairs to broadcast journalism suites and facilities, and HVAC improvements at various schools. Miscellaneous projects such as the repurposing of old office space at Liberty High School and the creation of an outdoor senior patio at Olentangy High School, among others, were also completed.
Reach Dillon Davis at 740-413-0904. Follow him on Twitter @DillonDavis56.