Since the Mariemont High School Master Facility Plan process was announced nearly two years ago, community involvement has been a key focus. As I have shared in my blogs, podcasts and videos, the needs at Mariemont High School are many and will only continue to compound if we don’t take action now. But, working together, I know we will find the best possible solution for our students, staff and community in order to maintain our excellence in the classroom and continue to provide a tremendous value to our residents.
We cannot, have not and will not go at this process alone. Hundreds of community members have volunteered their time to help us in our planning for the future of Mariemont High School. Back in the fall of 2016 we started to look at our needs by forming the Community Facility Task Force and Futures Team, bringing together over 50 community members and staff to help identify areas to explore and evaluate. This work was followed with the creation of a Steering Committee of nearly 30 community members and staff to begin exploring possible solutions.
Then, in spring of 2017 over 250 residents attended one of three Community Design Workshops where MSA Architects, Turner Construction and the Steering Committee presented seven options for feedback and input. These workshops resulted in the Board of Education narrowing from seven to three options for further exploration.
This past fall we completed work with six community-driven Facility Teams. Each team participated in an in-depth investigation into specific areas including design/architecture, academic learning spaces, technology, finances, arts and athletics. Over 100 community members spent a period of two months researching and prioritizing the wants and needs of the high school. Presentations summarizing these findings were presented to the Board of Education and served as the building blocks for the Board’s decision to eliminate two of the three remaining solutions on the table and focus now only on a hybrid repair/replace model for the high school.
A third-party, statistically valid community survey also was conducted this fall, shedding light on the fact that 71% of district residents believe something needs to be done at Mariemont High School. And thanks to so much help from our community, we are getting closer to determining what the final plan will be.
We continue to listen. And we are relying on the community for input as we move forward with this process. Facility team presentations, survey results and all other facility updates can be found on the Facility Project page of website.
This spring the community involvement will continue with the formation of a community finance committee and a facility project team. These teams, comprised of staff, parents, community members and board of education members will collaborate with architects and construction consultants to review district financial needs, make preliminary design decisions and move forward recommendations to the Board of Education later this spring.
Additionally, all community members will have another opportunity to hear the latest facility updates and ask questions at one of four upcoming school chats. Dates for those school chats are as follows:
- Wednesday, Feb. 21 | Terrace Park Community Center | 7 p.m.
- Thursday, March 8 | Online Chat | 7 p.m. (check our website and Facebook page for how to connect)
- Tuesday, March 13 | Fairfax Community Center | 7 p.m.
- Tuesday, March 20 | Village Church of Mariemont | 7 p.m.
The importance of community involvement in this process cannot be understated. Our residents have always been committed to our schools and today is certainly no different. We must work together to protect our most precious asset, our children, and give them every possible advantage to succeed in college, career and beyond.