MIDDLETOWN, Ohio — Rosa Parks Elementary will expand to include an additional 28,000 square feet of space following a 5-0 vote by the Middletown Board of Education Monday evening.
The board voted in favor of the $10 million addition to address overcrowding and space concerns in the elementary buildings, according to a news release.
Earlier this year, Fanning Howey, the architects on the project, determined that adding on to one building would be the best option for the school district financially. It determined Rosa Parks Elementary would be the best option in terms of cost and site work, the release said.
“This project will give our students access to innovative learning spaces and the green light to weave their imagination into their learning,” said Superintendent Marlon Styles, Jr. “Our staff at Rosa Parks Elementary is chomping at the bit to get the project moving for our students and our community and we’re excited to work with them every step of the way.”
The board rejected a different plan proposed by Styles in January, the Journal-News reported. Originally, the superintendent’s plan called for expanding Central Academy and moving a grade from that elementary school.
The $10 million required for this project is unused savings from a $55 million bond voters passed in May, 2014, the district said — the majority of which went toward a new middle school and renovated high school.
“Through our partnership with the State of Ohio, we only needed to utilize $45 million for the new Middle School and modernized High School,” said district treasurer Randy Bertram. “This means we have $10 million we can use on permanent improvement projects such as adding to an existing building.”
Bertram said the Rosa Parks Elementary expansion project is limited to the $10 million.
Under the revised plan, Rosa Parks enrollment of 575 students will grow to 800 by the time school starts in 2021.
Middletown’s elementary schools are experiencing the highest degree of enrollment, according to the Middletown City School District website. The district will be hosting a series of community engagement sessions to address any concerns from parents. The dates will be announced at a later time. A construction timeline is also expected to be announced in the near future.
WCPO media partner the Journal-News contributed to this report.