Plans unveiled for new building

School board approval needed, construction could start this summer
Alissa Widman Neese
Mar 22, 2014


Townsend Community School has targeted Margaretta High School’s campus as the site for its new building.

Officials contend the new neighbor would offer the high school plenty of perks, including an electricity upgrade, flexible learning spaces and an arsenal of new computers.

The likely selling point: Townsend Community School will foot the entire bill.

If board members from both schools approve the plan, construction could begin as early as this summer, Townsend Community School director Pete Bartkowiak said at a Wednesday meeting.

He unveiled the project’s floor plans for the standalone, two-story building for the first time, fielding questions from community members who generally seemed to support the idea.

Download the pdfs below for more on the building

The anticipated building doesn’t deviate much from Bartkowiak’s initial speculations, and its features include:

•Location behind Margaretta High School, near its existing agricultural and athletic buildings, bordering the parking lot.

•15,000 square feet of floor space, with room for expansion, if necessary.

•A college-style “common area” in the building’s center, for independent learning. 

•15 office-style classrooms for one-on-one help with instructors.

•A large computer lab equipped with 60 devices for both Townsend Community School and Margaretta Schools students to complete state-mandated online testing.

•Several administrative offices and conference rooms.

•Rewired electricity for both buildings, which would bring more power to the high school.

Officials are still waiting on project cost estimates, and should have them by the district’s April board meeting, Bartkowiak said. “After many meetings, we’ve centered in on this proposal because it’s what best for both schools,” he said. “And right now, this best fits the needs of our kids, too.”

Margaretta Schools sponsors Townsend Community School, which debuted in 2011 as northcentral Ohio’s first charter school.

Its enrollment fluctuates daily, but these days it’s hovering at about 500 students, mostly those targeted as “at-risk” to not graduate on time in a traditional school setting. Students ages 14 to 22 can enroll.

They’re housed at various times in annex buildings near Margaretta High School and the old Townsend School building, where they complete schoolwork at their own pace in a nontraditional way.

Students independently come and go during the school day, and they typically only use classrooms when they need a quiet place or extra, one-on-one help with a teacher.

“We want to create a friendly place for these students to come to, so we can nurture them,” Bartkowiak said. “They’re not bad kids, which is often a misconception of our school. A typical school building just doesn’t work for them”

Contracting with architect Scott Mularoni for the project cost Townsend Community School about $24,000. Its annual, fluctuating budget, typically about $2 million, is based on student enrollment.

The charter school receives about $5,700 in state funds for each student who enrolls, which otherwise would have funded the student’s home district. Margaretta Schools receives three percent of those funds as a sponsor district.



Oh yes! Perfect and typical Margaretta! Let's focus on the juvenile delinquents, giving them much more attention/focus than they could ever deserve! All the while neglecting the main priority...OUR CHILDREN... you know, the ones that actually DO stand a chance and the ones that actually DO deserve a building that isn't falling apart!
But instead let's pave the way for the future inmates (of which ever penitentiary they will soon be a resident of) as we reward their brilliant behavior thus far with a brand-new building with which I'm sure will come equipped with state-of-the-art technology! Let's just hope metal detectors are included in this brilliant plan.



WOW!!!!! My kid graduated from TCS. I can tell you first hand that it is an awesome opportunity for the kids at TCS. These teachers are getting kids graduated who otherwise would not have graduated in a traditional setting. Their current settings are way too small for the amount of students they work with on a daily basis. Also, did you see that Margaretta is paying $0? In fact, with it being on Margaretta property I bet that Margaretta gets some money in return. Furthermore, while some kids may have had run-ins with the law, many of them have not. There were a couple kids who graduated from there just because they wanted an accelerated path to college. I saw a 16 year old kid graduate and have aspirations of starting college early. So you need to really get your facts straight before calling these kids out.