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The Daily



06-17-03: Board of education vetoes OSFC recommendations
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 change.
    "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 district.
    "(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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