HEBRON, Ohio (WCMH) — It’s a school that was built in 1914, eight years before Ohio Stadium, and a few years before World War I began.
Hebron Elementary in Licking County still has kids learning inside a building their great-great-grandparents could have attended, and now the district has a levy on Tuesday’s ballot to build a new school.
The bond will create more than $30 million toward a new school. It would replace Hebron Elementary and Jackson Intermediate. The land for the new building was purchased in December 2017.
“This building works against us, and it impacts our kids learning,” said Mary Kay Andrews, superintendent of Lakewood Local Schools.
It’s a building that was built more than 100 years ago, and the joke is that was before bubble gum, the cheeseburger, and even M&Ms were invented.
While some poke fun at its age, the issues at this school are no joke.
“This building is not completely ADA compliant,” said Andrews.
The issues range from the old lift that takes several minutes to get up and down the stairs. There are also no bathrooms on the top floor and a lack of stalls all over the building, which isn’t efficient, especially in the case of an emergency.
“Recently we had a little girl who was waiting outside of a stall and ended up having an accident right outside of a stall,” said Rebecca Hayes, a Hebron teacher.
Hayes teaches reading at the school and said there are 420 students in the school. She explained that second-grade students must go to the bathroom on the first floor, but adds there are more problems at this school.
“We don’t have modern plumbing in this classroom,” she said. A classroom designed for kids with special needs doesn’t have the proper plumbing for running water.
“This is the amount of water that you get,” said Hayes. “That’s full blast.”
The staff is asked to change out water jugs every day to make sure there’s fresh water in the room for students and teachers to wash their hands. The same must be done with buckets that are placed around the school to catch the water which leaks inside the building.
If passed, the levy would cost an additional $136.50 per year for a home valued at $100,000.
Andrews said the new building would update classrooms and give students and teachers the essentials all schools and classrooms need.
“So, when we have smart-boards and projectors and elementary students use computers, it brings up many challenges,” said Andrews of the current setup in some classrooms. “Our classrooms don’t support all of that technology. One classroom may only have four outlets in the entire classroom.”
A new school would house kindergarten through fifth-grade classes.