Bulging at the seams: Crowded Crestview Schools look to expand

COLUMBIANA, Ohio (WYTV) – Crestview Schools are pretty far beyond their buildings’ capacity, forcing school leaders to brainstorm solutions.

The schools are bulging at the seams. A building which should have around 900 students now has 1,315.

The elementary and middle schools are having the most difficulty with limitations, including crowded science labs.

“We’ve filled every nook and cranny. We’ve subdivided rooms so if you had 1,000 feet of classroom, you might divide it into pieces. We can’t do that anymore, we’re totally filled,” Superintendent Matt Manley said.

The school is taking the next six months to investigate options and is already looking into modular units for next year. Manley is also exploring long-term ideas as part of a five-year plan started by his predecessor, John Dilling.

“That’s when we put our plan together. It’s reasonable, it’s sound, and it has the best interest of everyone in mind,” Manley said.

One idea is a community center approach that could include doctor’s offices or a senior center, along with more classroom space.

Crestview’s original high school building went up in 1961 and an elementary school was built around it in 1996.

The district needs $1.6 million for building improvements in the next year. However, Crestview is eligible for Ohio Facilities Construction funding.

“We’re not a sports franchise where you build a new building every 20 years, I don’t think we’re there,” Manley said.

District leaders are studying which approaches could handle its growth while still providing a good education. Crestview High School students have a one-to-one ratio with computers.

“This system has always had a vision to move forward. We’ve got to be on the cutting edge of that vision and not behind it,” Manley said.

There’s another need for a preschool in the district — something parents said is their number one priority.

“This year’s incoming class showed that half of our kids are struggling. We’ve got to get them earlier but yet, the barrier has been no room,” Manley said.

The school district turned away 50 kids for preschool last year.