Columbus City Schools debate future of north side high schools


Columbus Public School leaders are considering plans to renovate, close and consolidate six high schools. Among the schools on a list to possibly be consolidated are Whetstone and Centennial High Schools.

While previously many Clintonville residents had pulled for Whetstone to remain, geographic maps are showing the school is actually built on a floodplain.

"Part of the reason we decided to buy here is because it backs up to the school and property there," Clintonville resident Michael Waldo said.

Waldo is among residents in Clintonville working to wrap their minds around changes, and worried about how the closure of Whestone could cause property values to dip.

Not all residents are pushing for Whetstone and Centennial students to consolidate into Clintonville. Some tell 10TV they are not willing to forego the loss of millions of state dollars to build on a floodway.

"Personally I feel that if funding is available through Centennial then the district should go that route," Clintonville resident Sjanneke Baker said.

Amy Murphy, who has three of the roughly 50,000 kids in the district, says she hopes Briggs High School remains open.

”I attended Briggs, my son attends Briggs, my daughter attends Briggs and then I have a middle schooler. I don’t what she’ll attend,” she said.

Ohio Facilities Commission could fund approximately 30 percent of new schools, but that money would not be rewarded to a school facility being built within the 100-year floodplain.

"From the district's stand point we doing think it would be a wise investment to continue to invest money into a building that sits in the floodplain either," Director for Capital Improvements of Columbus City Schools Alex Trevino said.

Trevino said while that makes the Whetstone location a less-likely candidate for renovation or rebuilding, there remains the option of using local tax dollars to raise the ground prior to building.

"Nothing is off the table at this point," Trevino said.

The district has reviewed the 20 high schools and determined a large amount of money and resources are being wasted in buildings that are not filled to capacity.

By closing and consolidating as many as 6 Columbus high schools thousands of students would be re-assigned.

Columbus Schools board member Dominic Paretti says the changes would be phased in over the next 10-15 years.

”It just costs a lot of money and it’s not fair or right to do all at once," he said.

Click here to see the renderings and proposed costs and funding for the CPS Consolidations and renovation plans.

Click here to see the criteria for determining what school buildings should be renovated or consolidated. Scores over 66% put them on the list to be closed/renovated/consolidated.