The second meeting of the Greenville City School’s Classrooms Facilities Assistance Program committee met at Woodland Heights school Tuesday evening. The meeting was very well attended and began immediately after the regular School Board Meeting. Hopefully the good attendance means that we are headed in the right direction.
Garman/Miller Architects -Engineers of Minster facilitated the meeting. They have vast experience in the field of building schools and a complete working knowledge of the Ohio Schools Facilities Commission’s Classroom Facilities Assistance Program (CFAP). This program will provide much of the funding for building new classroom space in the Greenville City School District. There are a number of options on the table and these were brought about by an assessment of all of our schools. This assessment revealed that only the High School was a candidate for rehabilitation. This was brought out at the first meeting and committee members have spent much time in the interim taking tours of schools in our district as well as new schools in other districts. On average, it costs $1.70 per sq. ft. to operate a school building. The new buildings that were toured can be operated for 70 cents per sq. ft because of energy saving design and new technology in heating and cooling, electrical and appliances.
The school board has a number of building configurations to choose from. One of the products of the committee’s deliberations is to assist the BOE in making this decision. By May of 2011, a decision must be made on which Master Plan will be used to guarantee the State’s offer of funding. If the decision is YES then there will be a one year window to secure a bond issue to fund the school. The first opportunity for the bond levy will be the November 2011 election.
The next meeting will be held after the April 19th board meeting where we will look at options and decide which option to go with.
Garaman/Miller used a voting program where all participants at the meeting were able to vote on the various options. Since most people attending had also taken tours of the districts buildings, the first vote on whether we needed new buildings showed that 95% strongly agreed and 5% somewhat agreed that there was a significant problem. The Ohio Schools Facility Commission will provide a maximum of $26,312,000 to complete this project. Greenville’s portion will be $67,237,000.
The next question that needed an answer was did the committee feel that we should move ahead by taking the OSFC offer of $26,000,000 and build to an approved Master Plan. Meeting attendees voted 100% to take the offer. This means that at some point the bond levy will be placed on the ballot for all voters in the district to approve.
There are a number of Master Plan options to be considered and these consist of how the voters want the buildings configured such as to build a new K-8 and renovate the high school or renovate the high school for K-8 and build a new high school. In all there were 8 different options and a lot of discussion.
The next question was probably the hardest and that was whether the committee felt that a bond levy can be passed. This was the vote of the evening with the widest areas of disagreement. In all most people felt that it would be good to do the project as a segmented project. This means that state money would be guaranteed and that we would be able to start the project and complete the whole thing as we can. It allows us the most flexibility. As a segmented project we needed to decide which buildings need the most help the soonest. Unfortunately this is a hard question and the vote on this was widely separated. The options were K-5, 6-8 or 9-12 with a career technology center. All of the elementary buildings are in dire need as was evidenced in the tours that we took. All have significant boiler problems. Woodland has major leaks in the steam piping which have been patched over and over. It also has asbestos laden ceiling in all rooms and hallways except the gym. Additionally it is on well water which must be treated and has it’s own sewage plant.
None of the buildings have fire protection and only a couple are tied into a central station alarm. South, East and the Jr. High have electrical panels which are no longer in production meaning that if a breaker goes bad, it cannot be replaced. The list is endless.
What will happen now is that Garmann/Miller will take the information that we gave them and come up with more refinement on the options that we gave them. This will give more detailed costs and be available for the next meeting.