Gallery: Construction nearly complete in 9th-10th grade Option space

Alex Hliatzos, Staff Writer/Photographer

Next school year, a brand new part of the building will open up to 9th and 10th graders in The Option. It will be located above the 11th and 12th-grade option space.

Principal Jeff Legan said the project was approved in 2018. He said, “It was approved the same year we discussed it. We designed that space and started to develop the option model in 8 months.”

Steve Nedlik, the Mayfield City Schools assistant superintendent, said that many individuals pitched in to help with the space’s design. “We met with students, teachers, architects, and administrators in a visioning exercise to determine important elements to add to the design. We wanted to maximize the use of available space while incorporating flexibility and student need,” Nedlik said.

The new space will feature flexible seating and vivid colors. Buzdon said, “Vivid colors bring energy to the space. The flexible seating allows students to choose the best seating for what they are working on, for example, they might want a table and chairs when working on math but prefer a comfy, cushioned chair when reading.”

Legan said the design choices are better for students’ learning. “[We] designed it in that manner because they didn’t want it to feel like school, instead more like a college and work setting. It matches the district’s philosophy of education, personalized instruction—getting away from the industrial model of learning,” he said.
The new space’s design incorporates many of the elements from the 11/12 space, emphasizing flexible, collaborative learning spaces, Nedlik said.

The new space may draw in some students who feared the change from the traditional classroom, Buzdon said. “The space allows for the fluidity of the day – if they finish one class assignment in 30 minutes, they can spend more time on another assignment if necessary,” she said.

Buzdon intends to utilize the new space to help meet students’ needs in her class. “I’m looking forward [to] redesigning the Algebra class to help students be successful in the new space.”

The space in use as the current 9th and 10th option space will transition to an all-purpose learning space for anyone to use. Legan said, “We are going to leave the furniture there, and we want students to utilize [it] as a learning space. The [surrounding] classrooms can use that space for collaborative learning.”

Looking forward, the district has several upcoming renovation plans in place. Nedlik said, “We have a number of projects that we are working on for the summer of 2023, [such as] renovations at our elementary schools and a new main entrance drive to support MHS.”