State program could be win-win for BG schools


If Bowling Green City Schools enters the state’s Expedited Local Partnership Program, it is not committed
to follow the state’s lead when designing facilities.
There is no obligation to follow their standards, said David Conley, with Rockmill Financial Consulting.

He met with the district’s board of education on Saturday to continue to plan levy timing.
“If you build your buildings according to their standards, then you’re eligible for their grant at some
point in the future,” he said. “If you don’t build your buildings according to their standards, you’re
not eligible for their grant.”
A school district can be accepted into the ELP Program, and not follow their standards and not be
penalized, he said.
Any architectural firm that builds schools is aware of these terms, said board President Ginny Stewart.

Architects rely on the state data when designing their buildings, Conley said.
If the district decides to not go with what the state’s master plan suggests, the board can do the
project for less money, he said. Suggestions to cut costs include not air conditioning the buildings or
making classrooms smaller.
With the state’s share currently 17 percent, that is $6.8 million when Bowling Green becomes eligible in
10 years, Conley said.
That money can be used to pay down the loan on the elementary project or can be put it toward the high
school project. The district would still be eligible for 17 percent of the high school cost, he added.

The downsize is 10 years from now the high school project is not going to cost the same as it does today,
Conley said.
“That money isn’t going to buy you as much 10 years from now as it will today,” he said.
If the district is accepted into ELP Program, it is locked in at the 17 percent state share.
“The day that they approve your application, this number gets locked,” Conley said.
“It is impossible to know for sure,” he said whether that share will go up or down in coming years.
It is higher than the 13 percent it was a few years ago.
“There is no good reason not to apply for it,” Conley said.
The financial task force on Wednesday did recommend the board enter the program.
Board member Bill Clifford said by applying “we’re showing the community we’re looking into it.”
“It doesn’t hurt to apply,” Conley said.

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