Marietta educators look at future school designs

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MARIETTA, Oh.-(WTAP) In cities across the country, schools not only have remodeled, they've modernized.

People who are in school today believe that means those who follow them will be better educated.

"More of a project-based learning style would make students more efficient," says Austin Witucky a Senior at Marietta High School, "and they'd be more successful in school."

"It'll be different," says Phillips Elementary 5th grader Jocelyn Arnold, "but I also think it will be an OK change for everybody. Something new."

It's a change from the design of a building and its classrooms that has been around even before baby boomers were no more than babies.

"The rooms will look different, the furniture will look different," says Mollie Runyon a teacher at Washington Elementary School. "But the jobs our teens will have in the future will be different than what we looked forward to when we were their age."

Members of the business community also took part. One of them says how they learn in the future will also help local businesses.

"The jobs of the future are going to be different, and require different skills and skill sets," according to Max Black, Special Projects Manager for Solvay Specialty Polymers. "For example, the project base learning, problem solving and those types of skills need to be stronger."

The presentation included suggestions from teachers and students about what the classroom of the future should look like. And there could be benefits beyond education.

"The more we can do to get our kids engaged in school," says Washington County Health Commissioner Richard Wittberg, "and become these life-long learners, the more we'll improve the health of our community."

"We have more people from the community than we do who are educators," adds Superintendent Will Hampton. "It's been exciting to get their perspective on what we should look like in the 21st Century."

The school system just secured a site near Washington State Community College for possible construction of new buildings. A bond issue is planned for the November election ballot to finance their construction.