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Springfield Schools to Develop Bioscience Academy

Springfield City Schools have entered into a partnership with Clark State Community College, Wright State University and the Dayton Development Coalition to develop the state's first bioscience academy.

The academy will prepare students to compete for jobs in the agricultural science field.

State Senator Chris Widener (R-Springfield) and Springfield Superintendent of Schools, Dr. David Estrop, started researching the bioscience academy project last year after Widener attended a Clark County Farm Bureau meeting and learned that the bioscience field is underrepresented.

Estrop says that the academy will introduce and prepare students for fiber-related, fuel and food careers, which currently have a shortage of qualified applicants.

"The research that we did showed that while the need for research and development people in the ag-bio sciences was growing and anticipating to grow at least 10 percent over the next several years, the number of people participating in this at the secondary level, at the high school level, was declining about five percent over five years," Estrop said. "So we had a mismatch of anticipated jobs with the labor supply and the trained individuals coming out of the schools."

The non-profit bioscience school will be called the Global Impact Stem Academy and is expected to open next school year in the old South High School. It will be one of only five academies of its kind in the country.

Estrop says the costs of renovating South High School is approximately $10 million and will be paid for from local and state funding sources. The Ohio Facilities Commission is also contributing funds.

The academy will lease South High School at a cost of one dollar per year from the Springfield City Schools.

Ohio State will help develop the bioscience academy's curriculum.