A historic day, 15 years in the making, for Winton Woods City Schools as we literally began digging into the future with two groundbreaking ceremonies on October 18, 2018. It was a fall sunny day when local and state leaders, industry partners, community members, students and staff joined at the 7-12 and K-6 campus sites to celebrate the start of construction for the two new facilities. The Winton Woods High School marching band and a cappella vocal group gave joint performances, and students from each site gave closing speeches thanking the community. Superintendent Anthony G. Smith had the community members tell the younger students, “These buildings were designed for you.” While the students followed by saying, “These buildings were designed for me.” Voters approved a bond issue in 2016 to fund these new facilities.
Forest Park Mayor Charles Johnson told attendees the importance of remembering what is to come during the building process. “There will be times when construction will cause slow traffic but remember what these new beautiful buildings will tell our students. We care about you, who you are and your future.” Greenhills Mayor David Moore also took time to share his support for the 21st century designed buildings. “This is one of the largest projects ever to occur in the Village,” said Moore. “We look forward to this new facility and working with the school district for many generations to come.”
“We celebrate today as another milestone,” said SHP Leading Design Correspondent Jeff Parker. “The next time we gather on this site we’ll be cutting a ribbon to celebrate the completion of the new campuses. But it will be about more than that, it will be about seeing the dream of this community take shape and the opportunities and promise it creates for these beautiful children around us. Thank you for allowing SHP to be apart of the process. We look forward to seeing it come together.”
Because the new campuses are for our students, in the Spring of 2017, we gathered student representatives from grades 5-12 to begin the design process for the learning communities. Following these meetings, staff and community members met regularly for table discussions at educational visionary meetings to help the design process.
“What kind of facility for learning do you design and build when the students it will serve will need to be prepared for careers that do not yet exist?” said Steve Denny, executive director of accountability and business affairs for Winton Woods City Schools. “We believe it is this one. We live in exponential times. The world is changing rapidly and information is growing without bound. It is estimated that over the next 20 years, 40% of the careers our students will be preparing to enter do not exist now.”
“What kind of facility for learning do you design and build when the amount of information and knowledge in the world doubles every 2 1/2 years? And the digital information doubles every three hours? We believe it is this kind of building. The world our students are growing up in is indeed a different one than the one in which we older, more seasoned folks did. It is far more interconnected, far more complex and far more unexpected. The school buildings that our children need in which to learn and grow must also be different.”
“I remember when I became the Superintendent five years ago. John Pennycuff told me, Superintendent I want to give you a tour of the buildings and I want you to tell me what you think. My answer to his question: was we can do better. To everyone in the audience, to everyone who gave their love, patience, care, vote, thank you very much for passing the bond because now this is the better. And when these buildings come out of the ground you are going to be so proud of the hard work that you put in. The dedication, the love, care and commitment. Our students are going to be so appreciative of you for many years to come for making Winton Woods District future ready.”
For construction updates, go to wintonwoods.org/construction-update.