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Wednesday, June 13th, 2012

Leftover funds to help pay debt

Parkway closes out building project

By Amy Kronenberger

Parkway Local Schools officials say more than $1 million in leftover funds from. . .

ROCKFORD - Parkway Local Schools has received more than $1 million in leftover funds from the school construction project completed in 2006.
School treasurer Debbie Pierce said the state signed off and closed out the $1.1 million building fund last month.
On Tuesday, school board members approved transferring $703,745 to the permanent improvement fund and $409,045 to the district's bond retirement fund.
The $36 million, PK-12 school was built with 79 percent state funds from the Ohio School Facilities Commission and 21 percent from local tax dollars.
The money left after construction was complete was invested by the school. The state requires the district put the original leftover money ($409,045) toward taxpayer debt; the interest ($703,745) earned can go to any building maintenance or construction project that has a life expectancy of at least five years. The money cannot be used for school operating costs.
The extra money toward the debt (bond) will decrease the amount taxpayers pay each year. Puthoff did not yet know the difference. County auditor Randy Grapner will need to reassess the remaining amount and roll back millage, he said.
Tax collection on the 28-year bond issue began in 2003.
In February, Pierce refinanced the bond, locking in a lower interest rate of 2.98 percent. The original interest rate averaged 4.32 percent. The refinancing will save the district about $1.1 million and pay off the bond a year early.
The money allocated in the permanent improvement fund will pay for a new restroom/concession building at the football field, a digital sign at the entrance of the school and a mini boiler to back up the existing boiler.
Board members approved the purchase of the mini boiler on Tuesday. It will be installed this summer by Waibel Trane, Vandalia, at a cost of $63,000.
The entire system will become about 90 percent efficient after the back-up is installed, building maintenance supervisor Mike Jones said. The mini boiler also will be used to save money when it's not efficient to use the full boiler. The system is expected to save the school about $15,000 to $20,000 per year in energy costs.
"It'll pay for itself in three years," Jones said.
Puthoff hopes to begin construction of the new restroom/concessions building after the end of the 2012 football season. School officials in January met with Garmann-Miller Architects, Minster, to draw up plans.
"We've been waiting six years to close out this money," he said. "We desperately need new restrooms."
The new building, which is estimated to cost about $100,000, will serve the football field and baseball diamond and also will house two ticket booths.
The school has been using the pool house for restrooms and concessions. Puthoff said they haven't decided whether they will tear down the old building or use it for storage.
The digital announcement sign for the intersection of Buckeye Street and state Route 118 is estimated at $30,000.
Also at Tuesday's board meeting, board members,
• learned band director Ryan Twigg will begin planning for a trip to Disney World for the 2013-2014 school year. The band would travel to Florida sometime around Easter break and perform at the park. Puthoff said students would be responsible for paying for the trip.
• learned the district received an award from the Ohio Bureau of Workers' Compensation for being 100 percent injury free since Oct. 1, 2008.
• Welcomed new middle school principal Brian Woods to his first board meeting. Woods was dean of students at Spencerville Middle School before coming to Parkway. He replaced Steve Baumgartner, who retired last month.
• Learned high school principal Brian Fortkamp will begin interviewing for a math teacher later this week or early next week. He has received 18 applications.
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