Skip to main content

Campus Exploration

Update 11-20-23: A full-scale baseline evaluation of all USD 220 facilities is being ordered. Until such time as it is received, facilities discussion other than daily operation or emergent repairs is on hold.   Please note that the Campus Exploration Committee has been desolved.  All facilities discussion will be occuring in open session of regular BOE meetings. The information comment form and original information given to public on August 25, 2023 remains for your reference.  Please do not hessitate to reach out to Paula Rice, Superintendent ( if you have any questions. Check back here frequently for updates and public events centered around our campuses.


USD 220 is exploring options regarding campus layout and facilty needs to help ensure a strong, thriving school district remains in Ashland for another 30+ years.  As part of that exploration, we welcome feedback and questions from all stakeholders.  You may choose to provide feedback to us either by submitting the form below which is electronically transmitted to the whole committee:

comment form




At the regular BOE meeting on March 20, 2023, the following motion was passed: 

M/S (Travis McCarty – Seth Harrington) to give Mrs. Rice the authority to explore options of how to get all students and faculty in one building within 5 years. 


Has the decision been made?

NO, a decision either for or against has not been made.  Per the official motion, we are exploring options to understand the feasibility of making such a move and if it is what’s in the best interest of the district long-term. 

A Campus Exploration Committee has been formed to help break down the monumental job of exploring every option possible, getting input from the community, exploring structures, educational facilities best practice, finance options both long and short term, and the many other facets for a full understanding of our long-term facilities options prior to any decision being considered by the BOE.  These committee is comprised of volunteers who are representative of multiple stakeholders from our district and community.  The committee’s purpose is research and idea generation, and is not a decision making body.

We know that there are many concerns and questions such as “How will the smaller students get across Hwy 160?” or “How will this impact afterschool programs such as the one at the library?”. These, among many others are questions we will take a deep dive into throughout this process. 

In addition to a public hearing that will be held prior to any BOE decision, this committee will reach out to other groups and community individuals throughout the exploration process for representation, expertise, and our overall community for information, feedback, and input. This committee has no decision-making authority.  

*11-20-23: The above named committee has been desolved.  It is extremely important to us that our Ashland-Englewood community feel fully included and aware of all information being presented regarding our facilities and future.  All future facilities discussions will take place in open session of the BOE at regular meetings. 


Why are we considering this option? 

  • Physical structure – Normal wear and tear over time, structural deterioration with age, internal concerns caused from leaks, masonry, roofing, HVAC, and the many concerns with the infrastructure at AES including original wiring and plumbing which both struggle to keep up with demand.  Updating has been considered many times, but the scope of work required to repair or replace everything would then require the entire building to be made ADA compliant.  This involves so much more than just adding a handicapped stall in the restrooms, and the concern is that the cost may be insurmountable. 
  • Operations cost associated with space – Recommendations for new school builds are to factor in an average of 150-200 sq ft per student when looking at overall building size. With our student population staying consistently between 180-220 factored in with the size of both buildings, we are averaging approximately 700-900 sq ft per student meaning we are heating, cooling, and maintaining a much bigger expense than we should to be financially efficient. 
  • District longevity – Educational finance is in a pretty good place right now, but there are many unknowns ahead as the current finance formula is not expected to last and special education is not fully funded at the state level requiring us to divert funds from the general fund which helps offset facilities and educational costs such as curriculum, staff, etc. Funding is not expected to remain as high as it is right now or as predictable. 
  • Logistics – Critical district services such as food service, scheduling, transportation, special education, the counselor, administration and other shared staff members are stretched thin greatly reducing the positive impact our system can have on our students’ education and future. We often have to choose between quality of supplies, experiences, and facilities or loss of critical instructional time.  This causes a ripple effect that ultimately effects moral of staff and students which has a direct impact on student learning. 
  • Educational Opportunity – The social-emotional experiences that our students, from the youngest to the upper classmen, benefit from each day when they are exposed to each other is irreplaceable.  Our young ones are given others to look up to and emulate which in turn causes the older students to step up and set a positive example.  The academic gains that can be made through common plan time, better curricular alignment, an all-district staff approach to intervention, and an environment where students of all ages see the growth in fellow students of all ages and even be a first-hand part of that growth.  Our students PreK-12 have a great history of working together: 
    • Breakfast/lunch at AHS (Aug 2020 – May 2023 break for COVID)
    • “specials” at AHS
    • Big Brothers & Big Sisters Program
    • Students as Elementary Teacher’s Aides – Direct Instruction
    • Sports teams/groups reading/helping at AES
    • FFA Teaching and Learning Activities
    • Spirit Week events
    • Pep rallies
    • Concerts
    • Fun Days


If the decision is made to go to one building, what will happen to the current AES building?

This is one of the great unknowns at this point and not a decision that will be made without the input and help of our community.  Our priority right now is just exploration of the feasibility of one campus to solidify district longevity. It is not our desire to see anything happen with the building that would not continue to benefit Ashland in some way.


What is the financial impact on tax payers?

As part of the discovery process, we are looking at exploring every option possible to utilize grants, existing monies, and low to no-interest financing options. We have no desire to add an additional financial burden to our community. 


What happens next?

Over the course of the next few months, the committee will continue to explore many different options for building configurations, needs for optimal district performance, existing districts that have gone to one campus, and options to present to the public and the Board of Education.  The public is always welcome at the BOE meetings which is a great way stay informed, but we will do our best to keep you in the loop of future opportunities to be a part of this exploration.