GM schools review building options

The Groveport Madison Board of Education is weighing its facilities options.

At the board’s June 17 meeting, Eugene Chipiga, senior planning manager for the Ohio Schools Facilities Commission (OSFC), presented drafts of two master plan building options for the district, as well as an assessment of the district’s 10 school buildings.

Chipiga stressed the assessments and the proposed master plan options are based on the present existing conditions. He said  the process would also get the board familiar with the OSFC procedure.

At this stage in the process, if the school board decided to pursue OSFC funding for building projects, Groveport Madison’s local share would be 56 percent of the total building costs while the OSFC would contribute 44 percent.

Building assessments

"If the cost to renovate a building is greater than two thirds (66 percent) of the cost to replace it, then it is recommended the building be demolished and a new school be built," said Chipiga. "It’s more expensive to renovate than to rebuild."

"Renovation is expensive," concurred Groveport Madison Treasurer Anthony Swartz.

Based on the OSFC’s assessment, the district’s renovate/replace percentages are as follows: Asbury, 64 percent; Dunloe, 70 percent; Glendening, 70 percent; Groveport Elementary, 103 percent; Madison, 74 percent; Sedalia, 57 percent; Middle School North, 66 percent; Middle School South, 65 percent; Junior High, 77 percent; High School, 64 percent.

Chipiga said the district could consider demolishing and then rebuilding on the same site, or, choose another site for new schools.

"If you find another site, you don’t have to demolish a building," said Chipiga in an interview following the meeting.

Enrollment projection

According to the OSFC and a report by DeJong-Healy, Groveport Madison is expected to experience decreasing enrollment over the next five years. It is expected the district will have an estimated 5,798 students by 2012-13.

Chipiga said the optimum enrollment at an elementary school is 500 students, at the middle schools it is 600 to 700 students, and at the high school it is 800 to 900 students.

Proposed master plan – option 1

This option projects a $134 million cost to perform the following:

•Abate (which means controlling asbestos and other hazardous building materials) and demolish Dunloe, Glendening, Groveport,  and Madison elementaries and also the junior high;

•Renovate and add to Asbury;

•Renovate Sedalia;

•Renovate and add to Middle School North and Middle School South;

•Renovate and add to the high school so it could house 1,823 students; and

•Build two new elementary schools that each could house around 985 students.

Upon seeing the proposed numbers for the two new possible elementary schools under this option, board member John Kershner observed, "Do we really want almost 1,000 kids in an elementary school?"

Proposed master plan – option 2

This option projects a $140 million cost to perform the following:

•Abate and demolish Dunloe, Glendening, Groveport, and Madison elementaries as well as the junior high;

•Renovate and add to Asbury;

•Renovate Sedalia;

•Renovate and add to Middle School North and Middle School South;

•Renovate and add to the high school to house 837 students;

•Build an additional new high school that would house 986 students;

•Build four new elementaries that would house around 492 students each.

Next steps

"That’s a lot to digest," commented board member Mary Tedrow after reviewing the options.

Chipiga said Groveport Madison is eligible now for the OSFC program, but the district could also defer to fiscal year 2009. However, he cautioned that the district could lose between $7 million to $10 million by waiting a year.

According to Chipiga, if the district decides to pursue the program, it has one year to secure the local share of funds through a bond issue. If the district fails to secure the local funding, the state will simply take the state funding somewhere else.

The board will review the situation and, at a later date, decide how it wants to pursue its building options.

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