Friday, May 21, 1999

Mason studies school options

Community works on expansion

The Cincinnati Enquirer

        MASON — Residents who huddled in small groups Wednesday night had a daunting task: Pick a multimillion-dollar building plan to fit about 5,000 more Mason students in the next six years.

        By the time they finished, the majority of groups polled said the best option was to build a high school for 2,400 students and an elementary for 1,200 students. The existing high school would house about 1,500 seventh- and eighth-graders.

        About 350 parents, students and teachers gave their input Wednesday in the second of two community discussion sessions on the district's building options.

        The groups' input and individual surveys will be tallied, and a steering committee will use them to develop a proposal to be presented to the board of education in June or July.

        The board is expected to vote on a plan in late summer or early fall, and voters likely will face a bond issue in November. The cost to residents and time needed to build more schools have not been determined.

        School and planning officials unveiled three options Wednesday. They are:

        • Build a high school for grades 9-12 and use the current high school for about 1,500 students in grades 7-8. A second phase calls for a new elementary school for pre-kindergarten through third grade and expanding the high school. Estimated cost: $78 million to $81 million.

        • Reconfigure existing facilities and build two schools for grades 4-6. A second phase would involve a new elementary for grades 3-5, for 1,200 students. The second phase also includes an addition at the high school to increase capacity to about 2,500 students. Estimated cost: $63 million to $67 million.

        • Reconfigure all grade levels and construct a high school for grades 8-12 with a capacity of 1,800 students. The current high school also would be used for students in grades 8-12. A new intermediate school for grades 3-5 and a new middle school for grades 6-8 also would be built. At that point, the high school would change to grades 9-12.Estimated cost: $73 million to $76 million.

        Some residents Wednesday said they think building a second high school may disrupt the sense of community in Mason.

        “You've got all your friends, you're splitting them up when they're all together,” said Jason Lamping, 14, an eighth-grader at Mason Middle School.

        Resident Linda Waymoth said a second high school might divide the community along economic lines and create rivalries within the district.

        Dan Mueller, a high school science teacher, said a larger high school likely would increase opportunities for students. “I think creating a sense of community for students is important,” Mr. Mueller said.


To get serious about treasures, hire conservator
Manatees carrying heavy load of hopes
Manatees, crocs and more
Parents even more anxious after Conyers shooting
Design dean to step down
6 schools earn national Blue Ribbons
Ice cream man won't get boot
Bank robbery family tradition
'Community standards' face test
Killer says he has paid debt, wants to die
Nuclear waste shipments bring activists here for conference
Police: Drug ring busted up
Two more Hilltop pickets injured by trucks
Carrying on a mother's love
Application for landfill halted
Children's Summit speaker raps 'toxic society'
Efficiency goal with Access bus computer
Fairfield child found dead in bed
Killer's drug problem told
- Mason studies school options
New owners check out Turfway
Raymond Motley, 87, was sports radio legend at Hamilton's WMOH
Rescuers build training ground
Springboro celebrates Underground Railroad heritage
State to take 24 inmates from Kenton
Students celebrate sameness
Suspect ruled competent to stand trial in stabbing
Ventura seeks details of deal ex-reporter cut
Works by famous artists at charity auction here