Rossford narrows building options
Written by DAVID DUPONT Sentinel Staff Writer
Friday, 14 June 2013 09:57
ROSSFORD - Residents of the Rossford School District will have a chance to weigh in on how they feel about the final two building options and three ways of financing them.
The Master Plan Steering Committee in late May narrowed the building options to two.
Both build a new high and middle school on the downtown site around a core of the existing building, which will be renovated.
One option builds a new pre-kindergarten through grade 2 building at the site of the Eagle Point and a new grade 3-5 building on the Indian Hills site.
The other option puts all elementary grades in one new building on the Indian Hills site.
The committee estimates it would cost $75 million to finance either option. The plan calls for using $315,000 in House Bill 264 funds. The state program allows schools to borrow money to make energy saving renovations. The loans are then paid back with the money saved from the renovations.
The three financing options, according to the steering committee, call for:
• Option A - Finance $62 million with a property tax, the maximum the district is allowed to borrow, over 37 years. Cost for an owner of a home valued at $100,000 would be $271 a year. For senior citizen with a home of the same value it would be $203 a year. This would enable the district to complete the project in three and half years and take advantage of low interest rates. However, the district would need to supplement the borrowing with a capital campaign for the additional $12.5 million. The project may need to be scaled back if that money is not raised.
• Option B - Finance $62 million with a property tax levy, that would cost homeowners the same as in Option A, and $12.5 million with a 0.25-percent income tax. The project could be completed in the same time frame, but carries the highest tax burden.
• Option C phases in the projects. Each school would be finished before construction of another school is started. So it would take eight and half years to complete the first building option with three schools and seven years to complete the plan with two schools.
These would require a separate levy for each school project. It would carry the lowest initial tax burden. Because of the length of the projects costs would be expected to inflate.
Once the surveys are completed the Master Plan Steering Committee will present its recommendations to the board, probably in early July. After that the committee's work will be done. The school board would have to vote to place any levy proposal on the ballot by Aug. 7.
At the board of education meeting early this week, the board discussed with members of the steering committee and the board's facilities committee the advisability of seeking requests for qualifications from firms interested in doing the HB 264 projects for the district.
Scott Blair, a member of the steering committee, said members were concerned that seeking requests now would confused the public at a time when the district will be trying to promote a building levy.
But Bob Densic of the facilities committee said that the two projects are independent and by acting now the district would be ready to go ahead even if the building projects failed.
The only part of the two building proposals that would be eligible for such funding would be the core of the high school.
Densic said it's possible some renovations could be done in existing buildings that could pay for themselves before the buildings are removed from service.
The board did not take any action on the issue.