Students and staff fill the classrooms of every building in our district and we’re off to another great start here at Beavercreek City Schools! It is gratifying when I see so many young people learning the essential lessons that will serve a foundation for years to come. Yet, as I toured every school with our administrative team during the first week back, it was evident that we are to a time where we cannot keep up with our facility needs and rapidly growing enrollment, which is projected to only increase over time.
Several of our school buildings are operating over or near capacity. The recent redistricting of Nathanial’s Grove, a burgeoning subdivision located in Beavercreek Township, to the Main Elementary attendance area was a temporary solution. To alleviate space issues at one of our most crowded facilities, Trebein Elementary, some fifth grade classes are now held next door at Coy Middle School.
Perhaps even more concerning than capacity concerns of today are enrollment projections for the future our our schools. In the next 10 years our district is expected to accommodate an additional 1,000 to 1,200 students. It is clear that significant student enrollment growth is affecting our facilities, far exceeding the district’s ability to just make do without implementing major improvements and additions to the learning spaces to increase capacity.
At the August board meeting, a comprehensive presentation detailing assessments of the district’s current facilities, enrollment trends, community engagement and input, and the district’s facility needs was presented to our board of education by subject experts as well as the Community Advisory Team. This team of district residents, elected leaders, school staff and local business owners explained their lengthy and thorough process of considering all options and ultimately made a master facility plan recommendation to the school board.
Based on the research the team highlighted during the presentation, construction of a new high school would ultimately prove to be the greatest return on investment. The board will take time to process the information that was presented in order to consider formally adopting the master facility plan during the September board meeting.
It was also evident from the August presentation to the board that there is a large cost of doing nothing about this issue. If our district diverts funds to less-than-ideal and costly solutions such as trailers, we run the risk of wasting taxpayer dollars. Temporary solutions that attempt to address growing enrollment could actually end up costing far more in the long term, which is certainly not a fiscally responsible course to take.
I assure you that the plan recommended to our school board is a creation of the Beavercreek community. Over a year of research, planning, public input and engagement has produced a viable option for board members to consider. Now it is time to take the next steps in the master facility planning process. Doing so will ensure that the Beavercreek City School District can continue to provide a good value to residents and an excellent educational experience to the students.