- Why do the Shelby City Schools need a new PreK-8 building?
Auburn Elementary was built in 1948, Dowds Elementary was built in 1956 and the middle school was built in 1965. Auburn and Dowds still have their original single pane windows. All three buildings have issues with the window casement separating from the brick, which allows the outside weather into the classrooms and of course, is incredibly energy inefficient. Also, the roofs on all three buildings are aging and need replaced. The galvanized piping and electrical services in all three buildings are original, which means that the pipes continually clog, leak, and break. What’s more, all three buildings are suffering from brick and mortar issues, particularly spalling at Auburn. Spalling is when moisture gets in the bricks and then the freeze/thaw cycle causes the bricks to erode and break off from the facing of the buildings, which poses a safety concern on a variety of levels. And of course, none of these three buildings have air conditioning; as the temperatures approached the upper-80’s outside recently, even in late September, the temperatures in some of our classrooms hit the mid-90’s and above.
The classrooms in all three buildings, particularly Auburn and Dowds, are much smaller than the State recommends for effective classroom size; our service infrastructure is so outdated that we are limited in our ability to add technology to our classrooms. What’s more, because the school district is mandated to provide many more services today than when the buildings were built, there simply is not the classroom space needed to provide the necessary services in a standard classroom. If you were to visit Auburn and Dowds, you would see classroom instruction taking place in storage closets and the hallways because there simply are not enough classrooms/spaces available for all of teachers and students.
- What are some of the advantages of having all of our students on one campus?
Getting all of our students on one campus would allow for the district to streamline staff and instruction under one roof at the PreK-8 building. Through attrition and retirement, the total number of staff members serving our students will be reduced, which of course, would save the district and taxpayers money. Also, the school district recently entered into a partnership with the Shelby Police Department to provide a Student Resource Officer (SRO) to our district. By having all of our students on one campus, the SRO will be able to more effectively and efficiently provide safety services to all of our students and staff members.
- Will students who are of elementary age be mixed in with the "older" kids?
No. There are many new schools throughout Ohio that now have elementary students in with middle school and even high school students. Buckeye Central and Willard are two nearby districts that have all of their students in kindergarten through high school in the same building, however, their buildings were designed to avoid this issue...as will ours. The new building will be designed so that elementary students and middle school students are separated. The building would be designed with separate entrances, separate classroom areas, separate hallway areas, separate office areas, separate gym areas, etc. It’s true that the new building would only have one cafeteria, but the school schedule will be built so that elementary student and middle school students would eat at separate times. When it’s all said and done, the design of the building and the bell schedules for the students would create an environment in which elementary students and middle school students would not cross paths and if they did, it would be very minimal.
- What will become of the current middle school?
Once the new PreK-8 building is constructed, the academic wing of the middle school will be demolished as the eastern wall of this wing has structural and foundation issues. However, we will retain all of the large square footage areas, such as the David A. Jones Little Theater, the music rooms, the gym, and the commons.
The Board of Education offices will be moved to the current middle school office area.
- What will busing/transportation look like when the new school is built?
Transportation would look very similar to what it does now. Although the State does not require a school district to provide transportation for anyone living within a two-mile radius of a school, we would continue to provide transportation to those students who currently receive it. However, one improvement parents and students will experience if the new school is built, is that all of our shuttle routes that run between Auburn and Dowds would no longer be necessary and busing routes would become more efficient and students would spend less time on buses.
- What will the start times look like when the new school is built?
The district's plan is to keep the current start times that we currently use for our age groups. That is, high school and middle school students would begin school at approximately 7:30-7:40 in the morning and elementary students would begin an hour later. This will allow our buses to provide transportation to students without putting elementary students on the bus with middle school and high school students. In turn, because the elementary students would start an hour later than the high school and middle school, this would help with the traffic flow at the new facility.
- What will happen to the bus garage and Board offices?
There are no plans to move or construct a new bus garage. However, because the Preschool would be in the new PreK-8 building the Board offices would move to the current middle school offices. This is a huge cost savings that could be captured by the district by not having to operate Central.
- What will become of Auburn, Central and Dowds?
There are a variety of options that could occur with these facilities. The district could demo all three facilities (the state would pay for 50% of the cost of razing Auburn, Central and Dowds) and then the district could either keep or sell the properties; any or all of the areas could become green spaces. Also, the district could sell any or all of the properties "as is."