By Rick Palsgrove
Some roof repairs will be made at Groveport Elementary and Groveport Madison Middle School Central this spring.
At its Feb. 8 meeting, the Groveport Madison Board of Education approved contracting with WTI, at a cost of $66,206, to remove and replace the 980 square foot existing roof on the connector walkway between the two schools.
“The roof there is leaking excessively,” said Groveport Madison Deputy Superintendent John Hurd, who said the district hopes to have the work done during spring break in April.
The connector between the two buildings extends from the second floor on the east side of Groveport Elementary to Middle School Central. It provides a passageway for Groveport Elementary students to access the Middle School Central cafeteria, which both schools share.
Hurd said there is some interior water damage to the walls and ceiling in the connector that will require some re-painting and minor plaster work. He said these interior repairs will be made by school district workers.
Board President Bryan Shoemaker questioned the seemingly high cost for the roof repairs for a relatively small amount of square footage.
“It’s because this is a complete roof replacement,” said Hurd. “We have to take it all off all the way down to the decking.”
Groveport Madison Communications Director Jeff Warner said no other roof repairs or replacements are currently scheduled for Groveport Elementary, Middle School Central, or other school buildings in the district.
“No other urgent repairs or replacements are needed at this time,” said Warner, who added roofs would be patched as needed.
Last summer the district repaired and replaced the 29,700 square foot roof at Asbury Elementary at a cost of $582,427.
Public fiber optic study
The board approved the district’s participation in a public fiber optic project planning and feasibility study with the village of Obetz, the city of Groveport, Madison Township, META Solutions, and Involta.
The study will examine the implementation costs, route options, and cost reduction strategies for a fiber optic network to be extended from the Columbus Fiber Network south through Obetz, Groveport, and around the Rickenbacker industrial complex areas.
“The proposal will enable Groveport Madison to participate in a shared agreement with Obetz and Groveport and a number of business interests in southern Franklin County to secure a fiber optic service for the area,” said Warner.
According to Warner, once in place, the fiber optic service would increase the speed of the Internet service in classrooms and offices across the district.
“This would help teachers and students more quickly and efficiently access online content, improve virtual classroom and video conferencing capabilities, and improve network stability and efficiency for administrative staff,” said Warner.
Groveport Madison Schools’ share of the cost of the study is $3,000.
“This can only help grow the entire area,” said Groveport Madison Superintendent Bruce Hoover of the proposed public fiber optic project.
State funding for schools
Groveport Madison Treasurer John Walsh said Ohio Governor John Kasich’s proposed state budget is calling for state funding cuts to school districts where a district has lost at least 5 percent of its enrollment in the last five years.
“So, if you have a 5 percent drop in students, you get less money,” said Walsh.
However, Walsh said Groveport Madison’s enrollment has increased by 233 students.
“Right now the proposed state budget shows Groveport Madison would receive an increase in state funding,” said Walsh.
According to the Ohio Office of Budget and Management, under Kasich’s proposed state budget, Groveport Madison would receive about a 5 percent increase in state funding.
The governor’s proposed budget still must be approved by the Ohio Legislature this summer and could undergo further changes before being enacted.
The board approved contracting with Lawncare Plus Columbus LLC for grass mowing services for the amount of $2,321 per cut. The company will cut the grass at the athletic fields, around the district’s buildings, and other grassy areas on school district property.
Hurd said the number of times the grass is cut per season averages between 24 to 27 times.