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Thursday, October 15th, 2009

Construction project may be in future

By William Kincaid
Fort Recovery school's board of education took the first step this week toward accepting funds from the Ohio School Facilities Commission (OSFC) for a school construction project.
Board members unanimously approved allowing an OSFC committee to assess the school district's facilities and collect various information, such as student enrollment projections.
"It's a big step, but it's a preliminary step," Interim Superintendent Pat Niekamp said this morning. "It's the initial commitment to look into this process."
The OSFC will come back with dollar figures next year, probably in the summer, when board members must make a final decision, Niekamp said.
"This process is a lot more detailed than it used to be," Niekamp said about OSFC's school construction project. The district was one of the first to participate in an OSFC project when it built the elementary/middle school several years ago.
Board members were told the taxpayers' share of any project would be 21 percent, with the state picking up 79 percent - the same percentage as when they built the elementary/middle school.
They also were presented with two master plan options: add on to the existing PK-8 building to make a consolidated PK-12 facility or renovate the current high school and demolish its 1935 addition.
The first option, according to preliminary figures presented last month, would cost $10.7 million, with the school district picking up $6.6 million of the cost. The second option would cost $8.4 million with the school district picking up $4.4 million.
In the midst of planning for a possible school construction project, board members also are considering a new $500,000, five-year operating levy to combat projected dismal school finances. Such a levy could be put on either the May or November 2010 ballot to enable the school to begin collecting additional revenue in 2011.
If board members choose to participate in an OSFC construction project, they would have until the summer of 2011- or four chances at the polls - to get taxpayers to approve that levy.
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