Bond issue anticipated at Rossford
Written by DAVID DUPONT Sentinel Staff Writer
Saturday, 29 June 2013 07:11
ROSSFORD — The Board of Education voted Friday afternoon to take the first step toward asking voters for money to build new schools in the district.
The board heard the recommendations from the master plan steering committee that has been studying the district’s building options for about 18 months.
After extensive public meetings and two surveys of district residents, the committee recommended a two-phase building plan. The first phase calls for a school for pre-kindergarten through grade 2 on the site of the Eagle Hills Elementary School and a new grade 3 through 5 school on the site of the Indian Hills.
This would cost an estimated $32.1 million.
The board voted to send in the paperwork to the state to get the initial approval to seek a bond levy to pay for the first phase on the Nov. 7 ballot.
The second phase calls for a mostly new high school and junior high complex on the current downtown site. The historic core and facade of the existing high school would be preserved and renovated.
Based on estimates presented to the board that could cost about $44 million.
However, John Appt, who chaired the master plan committee, said that by phasing the construction with elementary schools going up first, it allows the district to realize as much savings as possible.
Most the operational costs associated with the new schools and consolidation are realized at the elementary school level, he said.
Also, the district is undergoing a performance audit. Typically Appt said, cost cutting ideas recommended by such an audit would take several years to implement. Those could be in hand when it comes time to build the high school.
This would also give the district time to launch a capital fundraising campaign to help offset the cost of the second phase of the project, Appt said.
Board member Jackie Brown said she appreciated the work done by the committee. She noted only 400 people had responded to the most recent survey which posed two building options and several financing plans. And a number of concerns were raised by residents, she said. Still, the time had come to let the voters decide,.
Board member Doug Miller said the process allowed anyone who wanted to comment to do so.
“Now it’s up to us to start the campaign,” Board President Dawn Burks said. “Hopefully we’ll have a positive outcome in the fall.”
The board will have to vote twice more before Aug. 7 to put the bond levy on the ballot.
Treasurer Jamie Rossler said he will present the board with a resolution asking the county to certify the millage that would be needed to raise the $32.1 million. After that is received, the board will have to vote again to place the levy on the ballot.
Rossler said he hopes to have that process wrapped up by the end of July.
If the levy is approved construction for the Indian Hills school would begin in 2014, and once it is finished construction at Eagle Point would start mid-2015.