The time may be right for a new Shadyside school building to house all grades

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Shadyside School officials are considering building a new school.

The new building would include every student, from preschool through seniors.

Students in this district, rich in tradition and school spirit, have walked the halls of the same high school for 88 years.

But now, state funding may be making them an offer too good to refuse.

They point at the picture of George Washington in the hall and joke that  he went to school there.

Although he didn’t, thousands of others have, since 1930.

They have three old buildings that are hard to heat, and were only recently air conditioned, but with window units that don’t cool the cavernous rooms.

“Kids in Shadyside are just used to sitting in very hot classrooms and it’s always been that way,” said Superintendent John Haswell. “However, we are in the 21st Century now. The ability to be sitting in class and not be thinking about how hot they are– just thinking about their education–would be a wonderful thing.”

There’s a door marked “Kitchen,” but it’s a bit misleading.

“We have no cafeteria,” noted Krista Fleming, English teacher. “The kitchen is just used for food that is brought in and disbursed out to the kids, pre-made.”

So why are they considering a new building now?

They say next year, funding could make it possible.

“We could be eligible for funding through the Ohio School Facilities Commission and the state would pick up right now 77 percent,” Haswell said.

He said they’d ask the voters to help with the remaining 23 percent.

And they say it wouldn’t be a burden, because by then their taxes will be decreased by 4.6 mills.

“We have an emergency levy that our community passed for us back in 2013 when we lost the Burger Plant and we lost funding,” Haswell explained. “That levy is scheduled to go off the books in November of 2018.”

He says they’re looking at the Hillview area, above the Shadyside Swimming Pool.

“Transportation would all be going to that area, you’d have one cafeteria feeding your kids, it’s just a lot easier to have one campus,” Haswell said.

They say the high school, with its old-fashioned features, has character.

“And it is something that we would all miss tremendously, especially those of us who have grown up here forever, but the time has come, unfortunately,” said Krista Fleming.

They say with a new building, they could divide the age groups into better categories.

Right now, Jefferson houses pre-K through two, Leona has grades three through six, and the high school houses grades seven through 12.

They’d like to have an elementary with K through four, a middle school with grades five through eight and a high school, grades 9 through 12.

They say it’s all in the early planning stages.

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