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North-side residents express concerns of relocating East High

Columbus Public Schools superintendent Gene Harris says the temporary move of East High School's 817 students to the North Education Center on Arcadia Avenue is necessary to properly renovate East's current building on East Broad Street. The renovation of East will take at least a year. It's part of a District-wide plan to build or refurbish 38 buildings. While no new plans were announced at last night's meeting, Harris says she's happy with the results.

"We were invited to talk about the transiton that our students from East High School will make at North Adult (High School)," Harris says. "I think what came out of the meeting is everybody got a cleared understanding of what will happen next year."

But that might not be the case. The relocation of East comes as Columbus Police officials are sticking to their plan to close a police sub-station just two blocks east of the North Education Center. Several members of the audience voiced concerns of how the influx of people and decreased police presence might affect the safety of their neighborhood. Local resident and University Area Commissioner Seth Golding questions the timing of the moves, and says he doesn't want to deal with unruly high schools students.

"Now they want to take our sub-station on Arcadia away, which is sort of like after they've dumped their problems in our area, now they want to take our police department to protect their new buildings," Golding says. "With the high school going in, now we're a little worried that we're going to be babysitting a small percentage of the students that are truant."

School and police officials insist safety will not be an issue. Harris says the majority of students will be bused to and from the school, and truancy officers will patrol the area. While she is uncertain where current North students will attend classes next year, Harris says the school will end their adult continuing education plan at the end of this year.