Marion-Franklin High is one of 5 schools that has been recommended for closing in Columbus, Ohio.

Task force recommends closing 5 schools in Columbus, Ohio

Aug. 31, 2018
Facilities Task Force also calls for changes that would force thousands of students to move to different schools.

The Columbus (Ohio) district should close five schools and transfer thousands of students to different campuses in 2019-20, a citizens advisory panel has recommended.

The Columbus Dispatch reports that the school district's Facilities Task Force will reconvene in early October to consider public input and vote on a final recommendation to the school board.

“I feel really good about our process,” says Acting Superintendent John Stanford. “They have come to a point where they fully understand all the different options and all of the information that we presented to them.”

Among the changes the Facilities Task Force recommended:

‒ Close Marion-Franklin High School on the South Side and transfer its students to the underutilized but renovated South High School, also on the South Side.

‒ Close Linden-McKinley STEM Academy in Linden and move its students to the underutilized but renovated East High School on the Near East Side.

‒ Close Siebert Elementary on the South Side, with its students going to Southwood and Stewart elementaries.

‒ Close Mifflin Middle School on the North Side, moving its students in grades six to nine to Medina Middle School in North Linden, adjusting enrollments at their feeder elementaries from K-6 to PreK-5.

‒ Convert the Marion-Franklin High School building into a middle school, doing away with the district’s grade 7-12 program at South High. The combined Marion-Franklin/South school would be grades 9-12 only.

‒ Close Buckeye Middle School on the South Side, with its students transferring into the new Marion-Franklin Middle School along with sixth-graders reassigned from six South Side elementaries.

‒ Move Columbus North International, in the former North High School building in Clintonville, into the former Brookhaven High School, where it would share space with Columbus Global Academy, already located there.

‒ Move the students from the crowded Dominion Middle School in Clintonville into the vacated former North High School building, while adding three new language-immersion programs there.

‒ Convert the Linden-McKinley high school building into a middle school, which would also house English as a Second Language students now at Medina and Mifflin middle schools.

The task force will hold a series of public meetings on Sept. 10, 11, 13 and 20, and reconvene in early October to make a final recommendation to the school board.

Left out of the reorganization was any new accommodations for Columbus Alternative High School, whose aging Linden building is deteriorating and not suited for high-school students because its restrooms and lockers were constructed for younger grades.

The panel also made a series of recommendations to vacate numerous administrative and support properties, including a bus compound, a warehouse, a distribution center and an adult education center. 

The former Electronic Classroom of Tomorrow building, which the district purchased at auction for $3.5 million in June, could play a large role in that reorganization.

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