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Thursday, January 12th, 2017

New Bremen makes bond plans

School levy on May 2 ballot

By Jeff Elking
NEW BREMEN - Plans are proceeding to construct a new kindergarten-eighth-grade building.
School district treasurer Jill Ahlers detailed a resolution to school board members on Monday evening to issue $14.4 million in bonds to pay for the new building. The bonds would be dated approximately June 1 and bear an estimated 5.1 percent rate to be paid over 30 years. Board members want to place the proposed 7.46-mill construction levy and 1-mill permanent improvement levy on the May 2 ballot.
Owners of a $100,000 home would pay $261 per year for construction and $30-$35 a year for the permanent improvements. If the issue is approved, collection on the existing 1-mill permanent improvement levy, which was last approved by voters in 2015, would stop when collection of the new levies begins.
Construction would begin in the spring of 2018 with the building possibly completed for the 2020-2021 school year.
The organizational meeting preceded the regular session with Tom Paul being elected as board president and Cory Suchland as vice president. Paul is starting his fourth year on the board while Suchland has just completed his first year.
Elementary principal Diane Kramer reported on the results of the state third-grade reading tests taken in November. Overall passage rate was 70 percent with 87 percent meeting the requirements of the reading guarantee. Students who did not pass will be invited to after-school intervention two days per week in February.
Kramer noted this was "the first time the test was administered on- line," and was "very pleased with the results." All third-grade students will take the test again in the spring.
Kindergarten screening is set for March 28-29, with 58 students registered so far.
High school principal Brian Pohl said he was impressed after the recent visit of state superintendent Paolo DeMaria. DeMaria listened to local concerns, he said.
Pohl said DeMaria told him he "hopes for more local control in the future and continuity and stability in his work." During his tour, DeMaria visited math, English and video production classes and concluded his day by singing with the high school choir.
Volleyball player Paige Jones received Mas Preps Small School First Team All American Honors. This recognizes her as one of the top 85 junior college prospects in the country as voted by a panel of college coaches.
Athletic department reports noted the fifth- and sixth-grade Ben Homan Memorial boys basketball tournament will be Feb. 25-26 at the junior high and high school gyms. New Bremen will host the seventh-grade boys basketball tournament on Feb. 9, 11 and 16.
Superintendent Andrea Townsend noted January is school board recognition month. She presented each member with a certificate of appreciation and encouraged residents to thank board members for their service.
In other action, board members,
• named the superintendent as the district's purchasing agent.
• approved the school calendar for 2017-2018 and set board meeting dates for the second Wednesday of the month.
• approved the purchase of performance bonds for the superintendent and treasurer from New Bremen Insurance Agency.
• designated First National Bank as the depository for all school district funds through Dec. 31, 2018.
• approved the $8.9 million in appropriations for 2017.
• employed Bob Parker as a substitute bus driver for the 2016-2017 school year.
• appointed board members to the following committee appointments for 2017: Tri Star Career Compact, Scott Bertke; Cardinal Pride Rep, Doug Hall; athletic council, Shelly Busse and Cory Suchland; Ohio School Board Association legislative liaison, Scott Bertke; New Bremen teacher negotiations, Tom Paul and Doug Hall; village annex/community improvement corporation member, Doug Hall; finance, Cory Suchland; building, grounds and maintenance, Paul and Hall; student achievement liaison, Suchland; technology representative, Busse; agricultural advisory reprepresentative, Paul; and New Bremen Education Foundation, Busse.
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