OPS Facilities Master Plan Community Meetings
It's time to upgrade Omaha's public schools. The district wants your help deciding which areas should come as top priority. OPS will hold a series of 3 community meetings on the subject this week.
The 51,070 OPS students attend school at 86 different facilities. Assistant Superintendent Jerry Bartee tells WOWT 6 News it's been more than 50 years since at least 20 of those schools have seen any major structural improvements. He says outdated buildings create technological and safety roadblocks as well as significant energy costs from old boilers and single pane windows.
The 2014 Facilities Study shows overcrowding is about to cause big headaches for the district. 14 schools are projected to be significantly over capacity by 2017-18. 8 of those schools are in Southeast Omaha, where student density and birth rates are highest district-wide.
Kindergarten enrollment for last fall was 30% higher than 2000-01. This indicates a much larger student population is moving up in the district. The push for pre-K education is stronger than ever too, putting more demands on the district when it comes to space and classroom design.
The facilities master planning process happens every 5 years. The goal is to collect data and public opinion to present to the school board so they can make informed decisions on future renovations.