New Lake school could be funded 50% by state

MILLBURY — Lake Local Schools will apply for state money that could possibly fund 50% of a new elementary
building.
But the board won’t wait the eight to 10 years before it sees that money, said Tim Krugh, president of
the board of education.
At Wednesday’s meeting, the board approved a resolution to participate in the Expedited Local Partnership
Program with the Ohio Facilities Construction Commission.
“The problem is it comes eight to 10 years later,” Krugh said. “So we’ve got to build it with a bond
issue and then, when we get the money, one of the options we would have is to refinance the bond and
then you could reduce the term and/or the amount.”
There is no set timeline for building a new elementary, he said after the meeting.
“We’re in the very, very early stages,” he said. “It’s a 1960s building and it’s time for a new
building.”
The elementary has 700 students in preschool through fourth grade.
“It’s antiquated. It’s outdated. The mechanical systems are all failing. It no longer really serves our
needs. It’s also a little too small,” Krugh said.
“We looked previously at upgrades or renovations and the cost was too much. The plumbing system, the
heating systems are pretty much shot. They’re being held together with tape and bubblegum.”
The elementary also does not have air conditioning.
“Our other buildings are air conditioned, and it’s been a real issue at times because it gets so hot in
there in the fall and sometimes in the spring,” Krugh said.
A preliminary study was done a few years ago with an architect, he said. The new building will fit on the
campus; it will be two stories, Krugh said. When it’s built, the existing elementary will be torn down.

“There’s room. It will shift parking a little bit,” he said.
Krugh added that the Ohio Facilities Construction Commission regulations have changed and are not as
stringent as they used to be.
“We’ve never qualified for this much money before,” he said. “With the middle school … there was money
available but it was so restrictive — and it was 15-20% — so we did it on our own.
“The state has now changed those guidelines and rules and gives a lot more discretion to the local
district as to how to build their local facilities,” he said. “There’s supervision and there’s
oversight, but it’s much less draconian than it used to be.”
The issue will be further discussed at a board workshop on Saturday at 7:30 a.m. in the middle school.

It’s possible, according to the wording of the facilities commission funding resolution, that the board
will be on the November ballot with a levy request.
The board could also consider asking for the extension of the middle school bond issue, which will expire
in 2024. In March 2016, the board refinanced the middle school bond, saving $705,000. The bond was also
refinanced in 2007, with a $1 million savings.
The middle school was built in 2003. The board approved a $500,000 air conditioning project for it in
2016.
The high school was rebuilt in 2010 after the tornado.
Also at the meeting, the board:
• Hired Stephanie Frank as middle school principal. She will be paid $78,000.
• Approved the retirement resignation of Brenda Pennington, Title 1 teacher with 39 years of service.
• Heard Superintendent Jim Witt say he is looking forward to the progress of the fair funding for school
finance bill that is working its way through the state legislature.
“It’s the fairest funding plan I’ve seen since I’ve been in education,” Witt said.
• Heard that there are 249 students in the Flyer Aviation online school. There were 400 at the start of
the academic year.
• Heard from high school Principal Lee Herman that ACT scores were up a half point in composite score,
and that this is the best score in five years.
• Heard Witt thank Penta Career Center administrators for helping to organize the recent vaccination days
for Lake staff; 70 % of Lake staff received vaccinations.
• Approved a class trip for Feb. 22-29 to Camp Michindoh. Sixth- and seventh-grade students will be
attending.
• Went into an executive session to discuss employment and compensation and security arrangements. No
action was taken.