|06-17-03: Board of education vetoes OSFC
|By JANIE SOUTHARD
The Daily Standard
NEW BREMEN - Thanks, but no thanks, said board of education members to
the plan of action for future school construction recommended last fall by the Ohio School
Facilities Commission (OSFC).
Voting unanimously, board members on Monday night decided to veto the
plan that suggested demolition of the elementary and junior high building, the development
of a new K-6 building and conversion of the new high school to a 7-12 building.
The OSFC offers state money to help public schools build new
facilities, but requires those schools to contribute a portion of the money and follow the
building guidelines of the OSFC. Several local schools already have received or have been
promised state money for construction; St. Henry and Fort Recovery have completed new
schools and St. Marys, Coldwater and Parkway are planning construction projects.
New Bremen Superintendent Larry Smith told the board there would be one
more meeting before the deadline for decision on August 3.
He highlighted three options: accept the plan as is; request another
meeting with commission representatives to negotiate an alternate proposal, such as
restoration and improvement of the current elementary and junior high building; or simply
discontinue the process and reapply for OSFC funding in years to come as conditions
"Years to come" translates to perhaps a dozen years, and
board discussion centered on the fact that necessary changes and modifications to the
building would be taken care of when and as needed, as has always been the case in the
"(OSFC) funding is a gray area right now, just as it will be if we
wait. We could benefit from more money in the future, or our share (required contribution)
could increase," Smith said.
Board member Mark Barhorst seemed to capture the thoughts of the other
members when he suggested to "just let it go."
"We've always taken care of ourselves. After they've (OSFC) taken
care of the big six or big eight (large districts in the state), what do they care about
us? I say let it expire and see what happens," Barhorst said.
Members approved use of the junior high football field next September
and October for a community-organized flag football league for grades 4 through 6.
Although junior high Assistant Principal Howard Overman has resisted
this idea for a while, he told board members he now believes it's a good opportunity to
acquaint the younger kids with basics of the game as well as sportsmanship. More than 75
kids have expressed interest.
"It's designed for the kids to learn and have a good time. It's no
Super Bowl competition. Twelve parents are interested so we have the coaches,"
Overman said, adding the practice session will last 90 minutes and no longer.
The junior high field will be used again this year June through October
for the club soccer league practice and matches.
"(Coach Greg Reynolds) has added a high school section and has
about 17 kids signed up. He'll make sure there are no conflicts with junior high
activities and the league has its own insurance," Overman told board members, who
approved use of the field for both sports groups.
In other business, the board approved hiring 15 substitute bus drivers,
five substitute cafeteria cooks and seven substitute custodians.
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