Tuesday, January 12th, 2021
Board project on May ballot
2nd attempt for school buildings
By William Kincaid
CELINA - School board members are preparing to try again to get a building project approved at the May 4 primary election, asserting the district must address its outdated facilities before costs inevitably escalate in the future.
Board members at Monday night's meeting told Garman/Miller Architects-Engineers officials to proceed with the same building project that fell just short of passing in the April 2020 primary election.
They'll meet again for a special meeting at 5 p.m. Jan. 21 in the high school lecture hall to vote on a resolution to send the necessary paperwork to the county auditor. They'll then have to submit the issue to the county board of elections by Feb. 3.
Board members directed Garmann/Miller officials to proceed with the same master plan as previously put before voters - construction of a 182,122-square-foot middle/high school and renovation of the intermediate school to house preschool-sixth grade.
The plan includes demolishing the high, middle, elementary and primary schools (East and West schools) and the education complex (fieldhouse).
Board members on Monday night also passed a resolution asking that the Ohio Facilities Construction Commission establish a new scope, cost and local share requirement for a building project through its Classroom Facilities Assistance Program.
They had passed a similar resolution in November but have since learned building costs as set by OFCC had been expected to rise 11% as of this month and potentially another 5% in April due to inflation, officials said. Also, the district's equity rank has changed, reducing its local share of a building project, effective July, from 54% to 51%, according to newly elected board president Craig Flack.
For the project to reflect the updated figures, board members on Monday night rescinded previous requests to the OFCC and asked it to establish a new scope, basic cost and local share requirement.
A full master plan project with a 51% local share is estimated at $75.6 million, including $22.8 million in locally funded initiatives, according to a Garman/Miller presentation. That likely would necessitate a 37-year bond at 7.5 mills.
More details are likely to be released Jan. 21.