Construction will begin this fall on the first phase of an addition to Tremont Elementary School, where student enrollment has been growing for more than five years and is projected to keep growing for another decade.
“Relief is in sight, and that’s very exciting for our students, their families and our staff,” said Tremont Principal Brett Gambill. “Space has been tight here for years, but we have reached the point where the size of our building is really putting limitations on student learning.
Just five years ago, Tremont served approximately 530 students. During the 2014-2015 school year, more than 600 students walked through Tremont’s doors each day. In less than ten years, that number is projected to grow to more than 650.
Gambill says the staff has worked hard to make good use of every available space in the school. For example, in order to increase academic space, staff areas like the copy room and conference space have been moved out of the building an into a modular unit on the lawn.
The first phase of the addition will include classroom space and a new media center. The second phase of construction, which will begin in the summer of 2016, will renovate the music area, transform the existing gymnasium into a multi-use cafeteria space, convert the existing cafeteria into a new main office with a secure entrance and add new gymnasium.
The Tremont Elementary School addition comes at the same time as projects to upgrade nearby Northam Park and reconstruct Tremont Road.
“It’s a busy time in the Tremont area,” said Paul Imhoff, superintendent of UA Schools. “While we are focused on the needs of our school community, we are also committed to collaborating with the city, library and community foundation to make sure all these projects work together and fit the vision for the area.”
The school addition will be funded through the district’s permanent improvement levy, which was approved by voters in 2007 and has been used for similar projects at Greensview and Barrington elementary schools.
“There are so many projects going on in that area, I think it’s important to note that district funds will only be used for school-related projects,” said Chris Potts, executive director of business services for UA Schools. “We have the new space at the school our students need, and we are looking at some potential drainage and maintenance projects for the district-owned and used fields nearby.”
City leaders and the Upper Arlington Community Foundation are exploring the possibility of leveraging private funds to create additional community space in the area. One option being discussed is having that community space attached to the new gymnasium, which will be part of the second phase of construction at Tremont Elementary School.
“We are very open to exploring that option within a couple of very important guidelines,” said Potts. “First, we will make sure the school stays secure and separate from the community space during classes. Second, district funds will be used only on the space needed by our students.”
To learn more or submit a question about the Tremont Elementary School addition, visit www.uaschools.org/tremontconstruction. You may also contact Chris Potts, executive director of business services, at (614) 487-5000.