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Columbus City Schools Recommends Next Segment of Facilities Master Plan

Facilities Master Plan (FMP) Segment 4 Recommendation

Columbus City Schools Recommends Next Segment of Facilities Master Plan
District outlines plans for new school construction at NSDP Committee Meeting

Click here to watch the NSDP Meeting
Click here to download the presentation

March, 24, 2022 -- Columbus City Schools outlined its recommendations for the next segment of the Facilities Master Plan (FMP) at the Neighborhood School Development Partnership (NSDP) Committee Meeting on Thursday.

Presented by the master planning firm of Legat Architects, the recommendation calls for the construction of five new school buildings by 2027:

  • A new high school with the capacity to serve 1,600 students at the current site of Marion-Franklin High School and the former Beery Middle School.
  • A new high school with the capacity to serve 2,000 students at the current site of Beechcroft High School.
  • A new middle school with the capacity to serve 1,000 students at the current site of Mifflin Middle School.
  • A new elementary school with the capacity to serve 600 students at the current site of Winterset Elementary School.
  • A new elementary school with the capacity to serve 600 students at the current site of Eakin Elementary School.

The plans do not yet outline school attendance boundary adjustments or the consolidation of current schools into the proposed newly-constructed buildings.

The NSDP Committee considered the recommendation, provided feedback, and requested additional information that will be presented at their April 28 regular committee meeting, at which time the NSDP is anticipated to vote to forward a formal recommendation to the Board of Education.

The Board of Education would then consider the recommendation for Segment 4 – which follows the previous FMP segment that was completed in 2016. In order to begin work on Segment 4, the Board of Education would need to place a bond issue on the November 2022 ballot.

If the proposed bond issue were to be approved by voters, design work would begin in 2023 with the first construction projects beginning in 2024. The first of the new schools would open as soon as the 2025-2026 school year with the remaining facilities opening in the subsequent years. The proposed sites would allow for the current schools to continue operations during the construction process.

The recommendation comes after a year-long community engagement process that asked district stakeholders to reimagine the future of CCS school buildings and how they can meet the District's mission and vision of academic opportunities for all students.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why were those five sites selected for Segment 4?

The five sites were determined for a variety of reasons, including:

  • Feedback during the recent FMP community engagement process in which participants conducted a simulation that allocated student populations across schools and regions;
  • The conduciveness of each site to the construction of a new facility while not significantly disrupting operations or displacing students from their current schools;
  • District enrollment projections that show the need for fewer school buildings city-wide;
  • The condition of each of the existing facilities.

When will each of the new schools open?

The timeline for each of the new schools is dependent on the design and construction process, but generally here are the projected openings for each of the proposed schools:

  • High School #1 (Marion-Franklin/Beery site) - 2027
  • High School #2 (Beechcroft site) - 2027
  • Middle School (Mifflin Middle site) - 2027
  • Elementary School #1 (Winterset site) - 2025
  • Elementary School #2 (Eakin site) - 2026

Have any decisions been made about which schools would be consolidated or which attendance boundaries would change?

No decisions have been made about school consolidations or attendance boundary changes. Those decisions will be part of the planning process if the Segment 4 recommendation moves forward.

What will the academic programming be at each new school?

The academic and extracurricular programming for each of the new schools has not yet been determined. These decisions will come in tandem with the design process for the schools so that each new building is designed to best serve the academic and whole-child needs of our students.

The student capacity of the proposed new buildings is greater than what CCS currently has. Why is there a need for larger school buildings?

The Ohio Facilities Construction Commission (OFCC) co-funds school construction projects with specific student capacity requirements. The OFCC will fund 30% of each project so long as we build schools that serve at least 600 elementary students, 800 middle school students, or 1,200 high school students.

Additionally, the feedback we received from the recent FMP community engagement process shows that the community wants larger schools that provide more opportunities for students, both in the classroom and through extracurricular activities. CCS serves students in smaller capacity buildings compared to other districts in the region and across the country. New, larger schools mean more opportunities for all students, creating greater equity in how we serve the Columbus community.

Why does Segment 4 include just five new schools? Can we build more schools sooner?

The recommendation to build five new schools by 2027 balances the need to address the District's aging facilities while also keeping in mind our limitations on procuring labor and construction materials in the region. This approach allows for cost efficiencies in how we spend taxpayer dollars. This also takes into account our organizational capacity to create and implement the academic and whole-child programming for each of the new schools.

What key themes came out of the community engagement process?

CCS has been engaging the community around the FMP since April 2021. Over the course of six phases, some key themes emerged:

  • Bigger schools = bigger opportunities
  • District-wide equity
  • Leverage existing real estate resources for new school facilities
  • Community and corporate partnerships
  • Equity in the school curriculum

When will the entire Facilities Master Plan be completed?

The FMP is a generational investment in the Columbus community for decades to come. While the next new school would open in just a few short years, the entire FMP plan will take until at least 2040 to be completed.

How can I provide my feedback on the plans for Segment 4 and the FMP?

Email your feedback to