Midd State News

Keeping You in the Know: Central Academy Building Project Update

Posted on: December 21, 2018
Central Academy

This spring, Middletown City School District (MCSD) will start building an addition onto Central Academy, currently a K-6 non-graded elementary. In the fall, the MCSD Board of Education (BOE) passed a resolution for the project that cites Central Academy as the most fiscally responsible option due to the central location of the building and the fact the district already has busing serving this facility from the whole district. The MCSD Design Team will present an update to the BOE at the January 14 meeting and invites the community to attend.

The expanded capacity at Central Academy--current capacity is 425 students--will add up to an additional 13 learning studios (classrooms). Adding onto Central Academy gives the district a unique opportunity to deliver new, innovative academic programs and environments to all elementary students while providing educational space relief for its K-5 buildings.

“Expanding our innovative programing at the elementary level is the next step of the Middie Modernization Movement. We’ve asked the community to pivot forward and we’re excited to do this together. Our kids deserve it,” said Marlon Styles, MCSD Superintendent.

The MCSD Curriculum and Innovation Department formed a design team tasked with delivering the new, innovative academic program offered at Central Academy that will later be scaled out and implemented in all MCSD elementaries. The design team, a cohort of district teachers and administrators, is using the Design Process to develop an innovative approach to programming. The 'Design Process is ‘Human Centered Design’ and it follows these steps: Empathy/Research, Define the Problem, Ideate, Constraints, Prototype the Concept, Evaluate.

“Our Design Team makes all decisions based on this set of values: Collaboration for Teaching and Learning, Rigorous Core Learning Experiences, Equity, Flexible Learning Environment, Strong School Community, and Positive Colorful Environment,” said Fran Morrison, Sr. Director of Curriculum and Innovation.  “We feel our human-centered approach will make the new programming not only innovative, but also personal and equitable for all students.”

“In line with Middletown City School District’s strategic plan, we want every child to receive an exceptional learning experience. By adding more space to our elementary schools, Mrs. Morrison’s design team will be able to give more children access to innovative programing with a focus on contemporary design and delivery of instruction,” said Chris Urso, MCSD BOE President.

The MCSD Design Team has not made any decisions on grade configuration or the enrollment process. Construction will begin in the spring of this year and the additional space is slated to open for the 2020-2021 school year. Financing for this project comes from the $10 million savings the district incurred from the State of Ohio on the Middletown High School renovation and new Middletown Middle School construction projects. There will be no new taxes.

“In the four years since the bond issue passed, taxpayers have only paid on $45 million instead of the $55 million authorized, meaning we have $10 million remaining we can spend on a building project. The MCSD Finance Department just sold the remaining $10 million bonds while maintaining the current 9.0 mills of tax collections, meaning there will not be a tax increase to property owners in 2019 and possibly longer,” said Randy Bertram, Treasurer at MCSD.