Thanks to our community’s support of Issue 5 this past November, Dublin City Schools is well on its way to constructing three new schools, additions at Dublin Jerome and Dublin Scioto, enhancing safety and security and adding supports for student mental health.
I wanted to take this opportunity to update you on our progress since the passage of Issue 5. As you might expect, when dealing with building projects of considerable scope, the processes take time. We remain on track to meet the timelines we laid out during the informational campaign around Issue 5.
At the Jan. 14 Board of Education meeting, our Board approved the guaranteed maximum price contracts for the construction of our two new elementary schools. New elementary schools will open in the fall of 2020, one on Bright Road and the other in Jerome Village. Official groundbreaking ceremonies are set for April 12. More information will be forthcoming on those events as we move through the coming months. An elementary naming committee has begun meeting and will be making facility name recommendations to the Board of Education this spring. This fall, an elementary redistricting committee will begin the process of redrawing elementary attendance maps. This process will be transparent and will involve input from our community.
Also on Jan. 14, the Board approved contracts for architect services for the design of middle school five and the high school additions. Construction on middle school five is expected to begin this fall and the school is slated to open in the fall of 2021. We are still working through the timelines and details of the high school additions. Large scale additions to high schools are complex, as they impact HVAC systems and common spaces. In addition to adding space at Dublin Jerome and Dublin Scioto, Dublin Coffman is in need of some significant renovations in the near future.
In August, Central Office will be moving to the fourth floor of Emerald Campus in order to make room for a centralized preschool. The law requires the District to offer a preschool program, which is currently spread out among several of our elementary schools. By centralizing our preschool program, we free up more space in our elementary schools, adding to overall capacity in conjunction with our new schools. The centralized preschool is set to open in the fall of 2020.
Safety and security upgrades have already begun with the installation of shatter resistant film to glass windows in all of our schools. This spring, we will be installing security cameras across our entire bus fleet of more than 140 buses, and piloting a door alarm system at one of our high schools.
Our emphasis on safety and security also extends to the mental health of our students. One of the District’s goals this year is to enhance the student mental health services we have in place and Director of Student Services Chris Ondrus will be leading those efforts. We have already made plans to hire three additional mental health professionals for the 2019-20 school year. We will keep you posted going forward and a timeline is available on our website. None of these initiatives would be possible without the support of our community and we will fulfill our promise to be great stewards of the resources you provide for our students.