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Staff fights to keep learning center open for students
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Story By: Brigitte Coles



  Originally Published on: 4/11/2014

The Springmill Learning Center could be closing its doors for the 2014-2015 as part of the Mansfield City Schools cuts for a state-mandated financial recovery plan. At least 100 staff and two school buildings, Newman and West Fifth Street are also part of the cuts under the current proposal.

The staff at Springmill Learning Center are fighting to keep the center open with a reduced staff. A public open house was held Thursday at the center at 1200 Nestor Drive, to give people the opportunity to learn more about the educational opportunities offered at the center.

Learning center teacher Brad Strong believes the students and the community deserve the facility.

"The staff at Springmill believes the problem is the mindset of our district leadership. It has been stated to Springmill staff and others, by district leadership, that Springmill is a "luxury," Strong said.

"Luxury may be defined as:something that is helpful or welcome and that is not usually or always available. Using this definition, Springmill is not a "luxury," because it is available, it is helpful, and it is very welcomed by our Mansfield students,"Strong said.

"Even if it is a "luxury", which I would assume is defined as: something that is expensive and not necessary, the staff at Springmill believes the students and community of Mansfield deserve the "luxury", they have already paid for and their children should get the benefit of using it," Strong said.

More than $3 million has been invested into the facility by the district since it opened in 2011.

The renovations include:

  •  $400,000 new windows, 11 classrooms have been completely remodeled (new lights, new tile floor, mounted video projectors, drop down screens, speakers in the ceiling, and state of the art technology hook-ups)
  •  $200,000 in high ropes course, rock and bouldering wall, motion detectors in all rooms, 10 security cameras (4 internal, 6 external)
  • $14,000 on seamless gutters, 9 hands on Math and Science galleries with museum quality exhibits, ADA compliant bathroom renovations, fully functioning kitchen and an updated dining/meeting space for over 200 people.

 Strong said the Springmill Learning Center has been called Mansfield's COSI.

Strong is encouraging people to contact the school board members and the fiscal commission members to keep Springmill Learning Center open with a reduced staff.

The Mansfield Financial Planning and Supervision Commission will meet Tuesday, April 22 at 4 p.m. in the Mansfield Senior Auditorium to vote on personnel cuts and what buildings should be closed.

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