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Taskforce will decide which Columbus City Schools' facilities may close starting in late 2025

Columbus City Schools administration office
Nick Evans

Columbus City Schools expects a task force to help determine which of the district's 113 school buildings and other facilities should close starting in August 2025.

Superintendent Angela Chapman presented a report Wednesday to the Columbus Board of Education that outlines how the task force will decide which school buildings need to close. The taskforce will address the school's entire portfolio, including administration buildings starting in February when it forms. Final recommendations will be made to the board of education in June.

Chapman said almost 47% of the schools have not had any major renovations in more than 50 years.

"Over half of our buildings are over 50 years or older, are considered legacy buildings and have not been through a major renovation," Chapman said.

The task force will include parents, students, caregivers, CCS labor organizations, community organizations, local government and several other groups.

Chapman said the district spends more on its facilities and maintenance per school compared to other similar districts, which could be related to the age of the buildings. Chapman said CCS spends $544,000 per Columbus school building compared to $459,000 nationally.

Chapman said the work of the task force will not overlap with any plans to build any new buildings in the facilities master plan. She said she would particularly like to see administration spaces consolidated into less buildings.

"I think that we should be, you know, looking at, the entire footprint of our district. Because I know that I certainly would like to consolidate the admin spaces," Chapman said.

George Shillcock is a reporter for 89.7 NPR News. He joined the WOSU newsroom in April 2023 following three years as a reporter in Iowa with the USA Today Network.