New Philadelphia, Ohio - New Philadelphia school officials are seeking more input from the community as they start to narrow down their facility improvement options.
Superintendent David Brand says they’ll be having another series of community meetings starting Monday to share more information about the possibilities for addressing overcrowding and maintenance issues at the district’s buildings.
The district is considering a range of possibilities to address those issues from expanding to remodeling to building new facilities. Brand says these meetings will delve more into the district’s needs and the cost of each of those options.
“Just reporting out more and then hearing what the community’s reaction is to the state report and of what kind of things need to be repaired, costs of repairs, those kinds of things so we can hear from the community what steps they want to take to address our overcrowding and our aging facilities and to hear their input on what values and what do they want to make sure we do or not do,” he explains.
The first of these meetings is this Monday beginning at 6:30 pm at the district’s Front Avenue administrative building. The others are on February 26th and March 4th starting at 7 pm at the same location. Brand says there will also be another opportunity for people who can’t make those dates to weigh in on the discussions.
“We’ll have a survey again for those people who couldn’t attend the meetings, and then we’ll be posting on that website, continual updating,” he says. “We’re compiling all the questions right now from those surveys and those FAQs will be added, too, and then also presentations and notes and stuff will be continually added to the website.”
Brand says the feedback they collect from the community will dictate their next step in this process.
“The community’s guiding this process, so it depends on what we hear, if we’re hearing consensus of ideas or are they asking more questions,: he says. “At this point, we’ll be at a little bit of a crossroads: Do we need to spend time answering questions, or do we need to spend time looking at options, or do we need to spend time asking more questions about what people want to see?”
Brand says they’re in a good place right now to be having these discussions, as the state facilities construction commission has pledged to cover 55 percent of their facility improvement costs.
STACEY CARMANY, TUSCO TV