The 2014-2015 Big Walnut Local school year has been 140 years in the making.
A fresh-faced group of freshman will spend their first day as Big Walnut High School students on Tuesday.
Big Walnut students will officially return to the classrooms Wednesday.
In 1873, Sunbury’s one-room schoolhouses moved into a single building on Harrison Street. The first school serving Galena was built on Walnut Street 140 years ago. It has a full curriculum and separate recess for boys and girls.
About 77 years later, the Delaware County Board of Education combined the Sunbury and Galena school districts to make Big Walnut Local Schools. The name referenced the Big Walnut Creek that connects Sunbury and Galena. Now, the district serves students from more than 108 square miles.
The district boasts strong parent and family involvement and support from businesses and community leaders.
It returns the support with fiscal responsibility: cost-per-pupil expenditures below the Ohio average, one of the lowest tax rates in Delaware and Franklin counties and a bond rating of Aa3, according to the district.
The buildings that served the early days of Big Walnut Local Schools have remained a part of the district in one form or another throughout time: Galena’s Walnut Street building was used for administrative offices until early 2014. Additions to the Sunbury’s Harrison Street were built in 1913 and 1924. In 1974, the original building was removed for more additions.
The growth has not stopped. General Rosecrans Elementary was opened in 2010 and Big Walnut Middle School opened in 2011 to serve up to 700 students. In 2012, the district opened an intermediate school for 5th and 6th grade students in the Baughman Street building. The district also completed additions to Big Walnut High School, renovations to the library and other school renovations.
Big Walnut Local Schools is online at www.bigwalnut.k12.oh.us and on Twitter @BWLSD.