Thursday, February 12th, 2009
By Margie Wuebker
New Bremen defers use of funds
School construction funding from state
  NEW BREMEN - New Bremen Local Schools board of education Wednesday night decided to defer an Ohio School Facilities Commission project another year given the current state of the economy.
"I can't imagine building a new building or remodeling what we have given these tough economic times," board President Mark Barhorst said as fellow board members nodded in agreement.
New Bremen, which first deferred funding in March 2008, currently ranks 30th on the OSFC list with the possibility of receiving 49 percent state funding.
Treasurer Deb Meyer noted the district will likely move up as tangible personal property tax collection subsides with the possibility of even more funding.
"I do not believe a 1 to 2 percent increase is out of the question," she added.
Meanwhile, local officials continue to look into what direction such a project could take. Possible options include making the current high school a K-12 building, a smaller addition to house seventh- and eighth-graders at the high school and construction of a new K-6 building.
With the first year of open enrollment under way, school officials and board members reported hearing no negative comments. Twenty students are involved in the open-door policy, which goes beyond contiguous school districts.
"The positives far outweigh the negatives," elementary Principal Karen Smith said. "In fact, there are no negatives."
In other action, the board:
• Decided to seek information from the athletic council before making a decision on what to do about deteriorating bleachers at the junior high football field.
• Accepted the retirement resignations of five longtime teachers effective May 31. They include: second-grade teacher Cindy Newman, family consumer science teacher Sandy Schwartz, high school social studies teacher Burt Fiser, high school English teacher Jan Fiser, and high school business teacher Jane Kaylor. Collectively, they have 158 years of service to the district.
• Received an update on the 2009 New Bremen Education Foundation fund drive, which is currently under way. Last year's efforts resulted in 77 scholarships being awarded to members of the Class of 2008. Donations, which are considered charitable and tax deductible, can be made by contacting Jeff McCollum at First National Bank or Superintendent Ann Harvey.
• Approv-ed the 2009-2010 calendar which lists Aug. 25 as the first day of classes and May 27 as the last class day for students. Christmas break runs from Dec. 23 to Jan. 1 with graduation taking place May 30.
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