|Board of Education Moving Forward With Proposed Construction Project|
|Written by Nancy Bowman|
|Wednesday, 25 September 2013 00:00|
The Tipp City Schools Board of Education is moving forward with planning for a proposed school construction project.
The board voted unanimously Monday to apply for an active planning process with the Ohio Facilities Construction Commission (OFCC) Classroom Facilities Assistance Program.
The application is due Sept. 27.
A committee has been working more than two years on reviewing the district’s schools’ condition and looking at options for building new and/or renovating. The review has included grades K-8 because the high school is newer, built in 2004 without state money.
Under the OFCC timeline, the district would seek approval of state funding toward a local schools construction project in July 2014 then have one year to raise the local share.
The OFCC current funding list has the state paying 28 percent of a project, the community paying 72 percent.
Mike Ruetschle, an architect with Ruetschle and Associates, has been working with the district around two years as it held public meeting and worked toward reviewing and narrowing the list of construction options.
He told the board Monday a lot of work remains to be done “to fully develop a plan that people will buy into.”
The board spent considerable time during a nearly three-hour meeting talking about whether to pay the architects a proposed $38,000 for planning work.
The discussion came up because of changes in OFCC rules on selecting architects for school construction projects. The board did not resolve the payment question.
School leaders have been working with the architects on the project with an understanding the architects likely would be selected to work on the detailed plans and construction once state funding was approved. With the rules changes, the state also has votes in the architect selection process.
During facilities committee meetings, options have been narrowed to two construction scenarios, both at the current site of Nevin Coppock, L.T. Ball and the Tippecanoe Middle School.
In other business Monday the board heard a brief update on security measures including ongoing work with the police department on lockdown drills and other training.
Kronour said a survey has been sent to staff to measure their thoughts on weapons in schools. Board member Scott Dixon suggested the survey at the August board meeting.
So far more than 100 responses have been received. Dixon said he found the input so far “interesting” with the staff “pretty evenly divided” on weapons related questions such as if those with weapons permits should be allowed to have them in secure locations in schools.
Also Monday the board heard from John Borchers of Tipp City, a bus driver for the district the past five years.
Borchers repeatedly questioned why he was not hired back after retiring for 60 days in April in order to qualify to receive his Ohio Public Employee Retirement System benefits for years of service with the volunteer fire department.
Borchers said he fully expected to be hired back and was not told otherwise. He said he even prepared for another year on the job by passing a physical in June.
Borchers said he didn’t want to burn any bridges, but was upset by what happened, misses driving the bus route and the kids and wants to know why he was not rehired.
Board member Scott Dixon said the policy concerning retire/rehire was set by the board. The board did not discuss Borchers’ questions, but Board President Frank Maus thanked him for his comments and years of service.