HUDSON — A new middle school. An expansion to the south end of Ellsworth Hill. Downsizing and converting Evamere Elementary into the district’s central office.
These are just a few of the plans outlined under the Hudson City School District’s Master Facility Plan during a presentation Sept. 26 at Evamere Elementary School. The improvements outlined are contingent upon passage of a proposed $81.55 million bond issue that will come before voters Nov. 7. The 4.97-mill bond issue, Issue 30 on the Nov. 7 ballot, would be spread over 30 years and cost the owner of a $300,000 home an additional $522 per year.
Superintendent Phillip Herman said the district can prepare for the future with passage of Issue 30.
“Our middle school was built as a high school in the 1920s,” Herman said. “Many of our elementary buildings were built in the 1960s. They have some life to give, but they need help. They were built at a time when we were in a very industrial age.”
According to information provided by the district, the high school was built in 1992; Ellsworth Hill Elementary, the newest building, was constructed in 2007; Evamere Elementary was built in 1958; East Woods was built in 1964; and McDowell was built in 1967. The middle school, the oldest building in use, was constructed in 1927.
The district’s master facilities plan would include:
¦ Construction of a new 176,000-square-foot middle school for sixth through eighth grade. The new building would be “slightly smaller” than the current facility, but “would feel larger because of the more efficient use of space,” Herman said;
¦ Downsize Evamere Elementary School and turn the building into a new central office. Currently, the district’s administrative offices are in three residential homes, Herman said. The building also would be used for the Hudson Community Education and Recreation programs;
¦ Renovate McDowell and convert it into a building for the district’s pre-K and kindergarten students (about 450 students);
¦ Renovate Ellsworth Hill, including an expansion on the south side of the building, and convert the building for the district’s first- and second-graders (about 700 students);
¦ Renovate East Woods and convert the building for the districts third- through fifth-graders (about 1,100 students);
¦ Renovate the high school’s air conditioning and other utilities, along with the media center. In addition, the maintenance and auto tech facility the district operates through the Six District Educational Compact would be moved to the high school;
¦ Renovate the Ada Cooper Miller Natatorium; and
¦ Reconfigure parking and bus loading areas to help keep traffic running smoothly.
Currently, Evamere is used by the district’s kindergarten and first graders; Ellsworth Hill is for pre-K and second grade; McDowell is for third grade; East Woods is for fourth and fifth grade; the middle school houses sixth for eighth grade; and the high school for the ninth through 12th grades.
Herman said the district, according to projections, should see slow growth, with an anticipated 300 more students over the next 10 years.
There are also talks about repurposing the middle school, Herman said.
“Our initial thought was to tear the structure down,” he said. “But many residents said they did not want to see the middle school torn down.”
As a result, the district will approach developers about the possibility of finding a new purpose for the structure, Herman said. Any renovations and improvements done would be the responsibility of the developer and new owner, not the district’s, he added.
The new middle school would be built with energy efficiency in mind, including a roof that, in the future, could accommodate solar panels, Herman said.
According to information provided by the school district, construction and updates are expected to take four to five years.
If the bond issue passes, construction on the middle school would start sometime in 2018 and be complete by 2020. Barring significant delays, it would be open to students in the 2020-21 school year. Work on the Natatorium and the high school would be done in the 2018-19 school year.
Renovations on East Woods and McDowell would start in the 2020-21 school year, and would be open for the 2021-22 school year.
Due to the extensive work that will be done to those two buildings, third through fifth grade students would use the current middle school facility in the 2020-21 school year, Herman said.
The addition at Ellsworth Hill also would start in 2020-21. Work on Evamere would start in the 2021-22 school year.
For details on the facilities plan, visit hudson.k12.oh.us/mfp online.
The district will host another presentation on the master facility plan Sept. 28 at Ellsworth Hill Elementary, 7750 Stow Road, from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m.