Communication snafu puts squeeze on Shanahan
* Board-approved upgrades accidentally leave students with an undersized library.
By MATT GERISH
Published: Wednesday, December 10, 2008 9:06 AM
District officials are looking for solutions after a lack of communication led to cramped quarters in a district library.
In the midst of upgrades to Olentangy Shanahan Middle School and district offices approved with the passage of 2001's bond issue, students at Shanahan have found themselves accidentally downgraded to a smaller library.
The Shanahan building formerly included two libraries: one on the west side that served as the old high school and middle school libraries, and a smaller library on the east side that served as the elementary school library.
Officials decided to consolidate both libraries into the east side of the building and remodel the west-side library into offices to expand the district's curriculum department.
Board members approved upgrades to the west library, believing they were upgrading it for continued use as a library, not converting it to offices."
I think the promise was to upgrade the facility where it was to make it in line with facilities that are offered at our other middle schools," said board member Jennifer Smith at the Nov. 25 school board meeting. "Instead, what happened was this library got moved to a smaller space that isn't on par with what we're offering students at our other locations."
While three classes can fit in the libraries of the other district middle schools, only one can fit in the new Shanahan library -- and "not comfortably, I should say," Smith said. "It's just not a good environment or a good space that's conducive to learning."
Board member Julie Wagner Feasel said there was an obvious lack of communication."
I've been in enough meetings in that room to tell you I don't need to measure square footage -- that room is much smaller than the room that it came from," Feasel said during the Nov. 25 meeting. "As a parent who doesn't even have a kid in this school, I'm concerned at the inferior quality of that library."
Interim Superintendent Jennifer Hooie said she would be the first to admit there wasn't enough communication on the plans.
"None of us are happy with the space as it is," Hooie said Nov. 25.
Communication on the plans was hindered because most of the people who developed the original plans are no longer working in the district."
Somewhere in the midst of construction, the board was not informed," Feasel said. "All the people who knew about it are gone."
"It sounds like we kind of blew this one," said board Vice President Dimon McFerson during the Nov. 25 meeting.
Board President Scott Galloway said an immediate solution will be to use locked storage space across from the east library to store audio-visual equipment currently stored in the library.
The board tossed around a few ideas, including moving the library again to the building's second gym or the current team room. Moving the library back to its old location is not an option because work already has begun on converting it into offices.
Hooie said they would need to work with faculty at Shanahan to come to a solution."I would expect relatively quickly to solve this," Galloway said.
Copyright © 2008 - Columbus Local News
This whole article is full of whoppers, but I think my favorite is the one from Hooie: "None of us are happy with the space as it is." Yeh, right, the administrators have new offices and you think they are unhappy.