CCS leases space to save money

Columbus City Schools (CCS) has decided to lease space at the Kent Elementary School building to Ohio State University Chabad House. Starting June 18, "Life Town" will use a portion of the school as part of a program that works with special needs students.

While the program pays only $1 in rent, the tenant is considered responsible for the costs of maintaining the grounds, custodial work and utilities. Information released by CCS at the June 17 board of education meeting estimated the district could save $60,000.

"They’re temporarily leasing the Kent building for a minimum of one year to 16 to 18 months. They’ll be allowed six additional months at the end of the year while their facilities are being completed, so it’s letting someone else use our building for swing space," said Carole Olshavsky, senior executive for Capital Improvements.

Dr. Michael Kinneer, chief financial officer for the district, said May is the 11th month of the fiscal year for CCS and the revenues for May was 1.62 percent higher than projected.

Kinneer, however, is confident the actual revenue will align more closely to the projected amount by the end of June. Likewise, Kinneer shows the expenses for CCS were .33 percent higher than projected as well.

"As we go through the final months of the fiscal year, we find as we make adjustments that we identify expenses that were charged to the general fund that should have been charged to a grant. We make those adjustments and so I feel confident in the projections that were made at the beginning of the fiscal year that are very close by the end of the fiscal year," said Kinneer.

Superintendent Gene T. Harris said that a district graduate may have the opportunity to represent the United States at the 2012 Olympics.

According to Harris, Jimmy Barris is a 2008 graduate of Whetstone High School, and he has impressed quite a few people.

"Three years ago, he never competed in a state-level competition; today, he has been recognized as the 2008 Boys Division One Ohio High School Athletic Association Diving Champion," said Harris.

Christopher Shaffer, principal at Whetstone said the school is "incredibly proud" of Barris’ accomplishments.

Shaffer could not say when it will be determined if Barris would qualify for the 2012 Olympics.

The board also honored Cliff Clannon, a volunteer at Dinan Elementary School for 30 years of volunteer service. Clannon recently turned 96 years-old and quipped that he is aiming for 100 years, same as Ohio’s Centennial celebration.  

"One year he gave each child in the school a present on his birthday. On Thanksgiving, he gave turkeys to Dinan families, so they can enjoy the holidays. This year, every staff received a card on Valentine’s Day," said Harris.

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