Streetsboro -- With the approval a bond issue for new school facilities Nov. 5, Campus Elementary School would be significantly renovated and expanded, according to Superintendent Michael Daulbaugh.
He said he's not sure how many classrooms would be added or what other features would be added, but the building, which currently houses second grade and third grade, would house all students preschool through third grade.
Crowding isn't as much of a problem at Campus as it is at some of other buildings, such as Wait Primary School, but Daulbaugh said "that won't last."
Kristen Cottrell said a wave of large classes currently at Wait Primary School would overwhelm the existing facilities at Campus in two years.
By then, Campus will be scrimping for space just as Wait is now, she said.
"Even though I'm good now, next year we're going to have to start moving our special education teachers and tutors out of the classes they're in now," said Cottrell.
Cottrell said the coming enrollment increase will create problems for the special education classes.
"Right now, second grade has their room; third grade has their room," she said.
In the next year or two, the grades will have to share a classroom, which will be challenging, said Cottrell.
"It's not there's not enough space, it's having different activities going on in a single classroom that's a problem," she said. "When you take four kids in a room and work with them separately, you can really concentrate, and they can really concentrate. Sometimes those kids struggle with concentration."
When the classes have to be combined, Cottrell said "we'll make it work, but it's not going to be the same level of service and opportunity for the kids."
Other classrooms will be shared, as well, including a room in which temporary dividers are set up for tutoring students in small groups. Cottrell said, while dividers help, they really don't prevent distractions when there multiple tutoring sessions are under way.
From an academic standpoint, the greatest benefit of combining the schools may be in providing stability for students and parents, she said.
"Right now, kids switch after two years," she said. "You get to know a building; you get to know a principal, then you're into the next building."
Combining the buildings should create more of a community feel for students and help the district clearly define its academic culture early on, she said.
One short hallway is being used as the speech and hearing room, said Cottrell.
The fact the hallway/classroom doesn't have a PA speaker is a security concern, said Grimm.
Cottrell said it's very difficult to hear announcements in the room.
Another room, which is the teachers' workroom this year and the site of many professional development meetings will become more crowded in the next two years, as well, said Cottrell. English Language Learner teacher Deniese Newman will have to use it and may have to have class elsewhere if professional development is scheduled.
Arranging busing to accommodate students attending Wait is challenging, she said, which would not be the case if the buildings were combined.
"The Wait school day is shorter than the Campus school day to accommodate busing," she said.
School at Wait runs from 8:45 a.m. to 3 p.m., while the Campus school day runs from 8:25 a.m. to 3:10 p.m., she said.
Right now, she said Campus serves as an afternoon busing hub for students in kindergarten through sixth-grade. At the end of the day, one bus from Henry Defer Intermediate School and one bus from Wait shuttle students to Campus, where students disembark from those buses and board a third bus that takes them home, explained Cottrell. Transportation Supervisor Beth Kinder organized the route.
"Beth does a really good job making what would otherwise be impossible work," said Cottrell.
Other things that will be different if Campus is renovated include the heating and air conditioning system. Currently, there is no air conditioning, except in a few of the administrative offices, including Cottrell's office.
During a bout of hot weather two weeks ago when high temperature records were set, Cottrell rotated classes in and out of her office for a break from the heat in their classrooms.
Currently, there is no infirmary at the school, either. If children become sick during the day, there's a couch in the hallway where children can lie down. The area also is a storage area for fundraisers.
Daulbaugh said there would be an infirmary if the school were renovated.
Cottrell said it would be helpful if better climate control were available in areas where sometimes feverish students rest.
Cottrell said she doesn't know how the layout of the addition work, but it could be added on behind the existing gymnasium, music and art rooms.
As is the case at all buildings other than Defer, the renovation would bring new plumbing, electric, lighting, windows and more, according to Daulbaugh, adding that areas renovated under the school facilities plan would be "like new."
School Board member Kevin Grimm said electrical wires running along floors and walls would be a thing of the past with the renovation.
"Now, they can put connections in the floor," he said.
For additional information, see these stories about the plan for Wait Primary School:
FB: The Gateway News/Bob Gaetjens