Franklin Junior High starting new year remotely; Wayne Local delays opening school

Construction issues in both districts prompt decisions.

Franklin Junior High School students will start the new school year remotely on Monday, while Wayne Local Schools will delay the opening of the new elementary school until Aug. 31. Both actions are due to various construction issues in both school districts.

Franklin Junior High parents were informed this week that the district hit a glitch as the temporary junior high school located behind the high school on East Fourth Street won’t be ready by Monday, according to a message sent by Principal Michael Voynovich. He said the construction delays were beyond the district’s control.

During remote learning, junior high teachers will report to Hampton Bennett each day to facilitate instruction. Students will log in every day during the school week. The schedule, with specific class periods and times, will be shared this week.

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The remainder of the district will be starting school at their respective buildings for in-person learning.

Superintendent Michael Sander told the Dayton Daily News that the temporary junior high school, which consists of 34 modular classrooms in three pods, will not be ready on time, prompting the remote learning option. He said most of the modular classrooms are larger than the classrooms at the old junior high school on East Sixth Street.

“This will be on a week-to-week basis until the modular classrooms are ready,” Sander said. “We’re very certain they will be ready by Labor Day.”

Sander said there are about 750 seventh- and eighth- grade students enrolled at the junior high.

He said the students could not be housed temporarily at the 100-year-old junior high building because the contractor has started the various abatement procedures prior to the buildings scheduled demolition Oct. 1.

The Franklin school district received voter approval for a $130 million bond issue last year to build a new high school and renovate the current high school into a middle school. It will also cover the costs for local initiatives such as constructing a new bus garage, moving the central office into the new high school building, installing gas and other utility lines, and the demolition of Hampton Bennett School for a new student parking lot. The local funding covers 43% of the project.

Sander said the new high school will be open in fall 2023 with the middle school opening in fall 2025. The district is also working with the city to build a roundabout on Ohio 123/East Sixth Street at the new high school entrance.

After those projects are completed, the state will cover the remaining 57% of the costs that include the construction of three elementary schools at the Gerke, Schenck and Hunter sites and demolish the other buildings.

Wayne district officials said school will resume Aug. 31 for all students. The delay of school opening is due to ongoing construction issues at the school campus and the construction of the new elementary school and completion of the parking lot

However, district officials said athletics will continue as scheduled.

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