HEBRON – Nearly 100 residents, parents, teachers and staff members showed up Wednesday evening for the Lakewood Board of Education’s regular meeting.
The attraction was to hear the recommendations to the board from the Elementary Planning Team and Finance Taskforce. Superintendent Mary Kay Andrews said the recommendations were the result of “several years of work” beginning with the Facilities Assessment that began in January 2015. “It’s been the driver,” she said.
The Elementary Planning Team met January – August 2017 and the Finance Taskforce April – August 2017.
The Planning Team made a convincing case that Hebron Elementary needs to be replaced, citing:
• It’s age – 104 years;
• It’s non-compliance with ADA requirements;
• Safety concerns since the office is too far away to monitor the entrance effectively;
• Cost to maintain;
• Classrooms are small and congested and some don’t have natural lighting;
• A small and cramped cafeteria in the basement; and
• No air conditioning and poor ventilation making the school very uncomfortable during hot weather.
The decision to built a new school versus renovating Hebron was also an easy call. The cost to renovate was $23 million, extending its life 10-15 years. The cost to build a new school was estimated at $28 million with a 50+ year life. The Ohio School Facilities Commission recommends building a new school if the cost to renovate is more than 66 percent of the cost to build new. Hebron’s renovation cost is 85 percent.
The Team also evaluated Jackson Intermediate school which consists of three separate buildings. The roofs are flat and there are no security vestibules to monitor who is coming into the buildings.
Hebron Principal Dee Martin dale outlined the group’s objective for a new school:
• Classrooms & technology that support all types of learning;
• Collaborative work areas;
• Enhanced technology building wide; and
• Flexible spaces that grow with us.
Martindale also said transitions are difficult for many students, noting now there are separate buildings for K-2, 3, 4 -5, middle school and high school.
The Team also visited seven new elementary schools in central Ohio to get ideas.
Their primary recommendation was build a new K-5 building on Lakewood’s main campus. The design recommendations were:
• Single story
• Collaborative and flexible spaces
• Separation of bus and car traffic
• Secure building entry • Avoid glass corridors for student safety and
• No flat roofs
In addition, Jackson B – the one on the hill – would be repurposed for the district’s pre-school program. Earlier, there had been some discussion about moving the district’s administrative offices in Hebron to Jackson B as well. “That’s not a decision,” Andrews said.
Jackson A would be demolished and replaced with a new parking lot, primarily for athletic events.
Next week: Finance Taskforce recommendations, questions and comments.