New Middletown school annex construction ahead of schedule

The solution to most of the overcrowding problem in Middletown elementary classrooms is now rising from the construction dust outside of Rosa Parks school.

Workers are building a $10 million addition on the school’s campus across from Barnitz Stadium and the project is ahead of schedule, Middletown school officials said.

When the new addition is opened in August 2021, officials said the current Rosa Parks Elementary campus will look radically different.

The school will have 13 additional classrooms, but its current learning spaces will also be dramatically remodeled to better accommodate a new instructional approach — Challenge Based Learning — the district plans to install there.

ExploreMORE: Construction begins on $10M Middletown school expansion

Rosa Parks will then begin to draw enrollment from throughout the 6,400-student district, reducing crowded elementary class sizes throughout the school system.

Elizabeth Beadle, spokeswoman for the city schools, said the project is “slightly ahead of schedule because the building closed earlier than a typical school year,” due to state officials’ orders in the wake of the coronavirus.

The state ordered all Ohio K-12 schools closed in March as a preventive measure to slow the spread of the coronavirus.

“The Rosa Parks project is moving right along and the finished product is going to be a wonderful showcase for our district,” said Beadle.

“Not only will all K-5 students have access to the new building, but also access to a new way of learning with Challenge-Based Learning (CBL),” she said.

The Rosa Parks enrollment of 575 students will grow to 800 by the time school starts in 2021.

The CBL learning technique duplicates – in an age-appropriate style – a team project approach toward solving real-world problems using traditional academic subjects.

CBL also encourages the development of interactive communication skills, leadership and teamwork that will better prepare students for their work careers as adults.

The $10 million construction plan’s funds are left over from a $86 million project that led to a new middle school and expanded high school, both of which opened in September 2018.

“While the addition is being built, our staff are becoming experts in all things CBL. We couldn’t be more excited for our little Middies and our proud Middletown staff,” said Beadle.

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