HOWARD — The East Knox Middle School cafeteria was considerably crowded Wednesday evening when approximately 250 people showed up to hear the results of a facilities study exploring the feasibility of closing the Bladensburg building and consolidating operations in Howard.
The study was conducted through Ashland University’s Telego Center for Educational Improvement. Study team members included Dr. Robert Thiede, associate professor at Ashland University; Lewis Stemen, human resources supervisor at the Central Ohio educational service center; and Dave Descman, transportation consultant. The trio presented the results to the community members in attendance as well as to the school board members.
Thiede explained how the study was conducted and said the overall goal of the report was to provide specific data to help the board make decisions regarding fiscal savings and operational efficiency and to serve as a springboard for community discussion.
The study team reviewed enrollment data and other factors to see if consolidation is feasible, provided data regarding ongoing cost savings by operating only two schools, outlined how the two schools can accommodate students and staff, and described the impact of the plan on the learning environment for students.
Before Stemen talked about the district’s current and projected enrollment figures, he said he was impressed with the focused learning activities he saw in the school district.