Tuesday, July 22nd, 2008
By William Kincaid
Elementary facilities project moves a step closer
  Celina City Schools Superintendent Matt Miller will recommend to the Ohio School Facilities Commission (OSFC) that Gilbane Building Co., Westerville, work as the construction manager for a possible school construction project.
Miller told board members during a meeting Monday night that he preferred Gilbane over the other two possibilities, Touchstone of Lima and Bowen of Cleveland. He also said the selected firm would work with the school district from start to finish of any construction project.
"If we decide to undertake a project, it would probably start with something in terms of the elementary facilities," Miller said this morning.
The district's elementary facilities are approaching 55 to 60 years old and some areas must be addressed, Miller said. He already met with both parent groups at East and West elementary schools and they gave positive comments about pursuing some kind of project, he said.
School board members in June approved deferring the OSFC funding until November. Board members in November will have to either accept or again defer participation in an OSFC project.
The unofficial word from OSFC officials is that the state would fund 44 percent of a construction/renovation project for Celina, leaving the community to pay 56 percent of the total cost.
"We have an opportunity to do something with our facilities that the state is going to help us fund," Miller said.
If school officials wait 10 to 15 years to do a project, there may be no state funding and any costs could come exclusively from the district's pockets, he said.
As to a construction manager, Miller said OSFC has grouped Celina with Vantage Career Center, Van Wert, to share a company. Vantage officials also are contemplating a construction project. OSFC presented the two schools with the three possible firms for construction manager.
"OSFC picks who they want anyway," Miller said.
Miller recommended that Celina ask for Gilbane, which board members also supported. He said Vantage officials also favored Gilbane, which also is the company working with St. Marys City Schools.
Board members will hold a special meeting next Wednesday to listen to the three candidates for school architect - Fanning Howey Associates, Celina, Garmann Miller, Minster, and Buehrer Group, Maumee. Each firm will have a 30-minute session to present information and answer any of the board members' questions, Miller said.
The time and location of the meeting will be determined later this week.
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