By Rick Palsgrove
The Groveport Madison Board of Education has approved a master facility plan to eventually replace all 10 of its school buildings.
“This was a formality to keep funding options open for the distant future,” said board member Nathan Slonaker. “We have no plans to ask for additional bonds and no plans to tear down or replace any building other than what currently is on the ballot for May. This is a framework plan that would need much community input before we took any other steps.”
About the master facilities plan
“The goal is to bring everyone together at one high school and then make decisions in the future, with the community’s input, about the rest of the proposed new schools, including where they would be built, when they would be built and what type of facilities they would be,” said Groveport Madison Superintendent Bruce Hoover. “By extending the plan in segmented phases it would spread the tax burden out over time.”
The estimated $166 million master facilities plan – with $78 million as the local taxpayer share of the cost and $88 million from the Ohio Schools Facilities Commission – calls for replacing the 10 existing buildings in four phases: phase one – a new high school; phase two – two new middle schools; phase three – two new elementary schools and phase four – two new elementary schools.
The high school phase is part of the district’s levy/bond issue package on the May 6 ballot. The five year, 6.68 mill operating levy (which includes a .5 mill permanent improvement levy) would generate $4.5 million annually. The $33.3 million, 38-year, 2.24 mill bond issue would fund construction of a new high school. The annual cost for the owner of a $100,000 home for the combined ballot issue would be $312.
The proposed $62.9 million, 235,000 square foot high school would be paid for by Ohio Schools Facilities Commission funding of $29.6 million and the local taxpayer share of $33.3 million.
If the bond issue is approved, the high school, located at 4475 S. Hamilton Road, would be torn down and a new high school would be built where the current parking lot, two softball fields and tennis courts now stand. The softball fields and tennis courts would be moved to elsewhere on the property. The new building option could include either constructing a high school with a new auditorium and one, large gymnasium; or keeping the existing auditorium and gymnasium and then building a new high school with a second, larger gymnasium.
The remaining part of the master facility plan calls for building four, 681 student, 79,000 square foot, elementary schools for grades PK-5 at $17.5 million each; and two 719 student, 101,000 square foot, middle schools for grades 6-8 at $22.4 million each sometime in the future. If the plan is fulfilled, it would reduce the number of buildings in the district from 10 to 7. The district currently has one high school, three middle schools and six elementaries.
Hoover said the master facilities plan is not set in stone. The board can revise the plan’s scope, order of construction, and timing whenever it wants to in the future as needed.
“There is flexibility to change the plan when the board desires,” said Hoover. “It’s not locked in. It could be years down the road before the various phases are enacted.”
Hoover noted bond issues would have to be approved by the voters before any new construction could take place.
Repair and demolition costs
Hoover said the repair costs for all 10 existing school buildings exceed 50 percent of the total cost to replace them. He said, because of this, the district does not qualify for Ohio Schools Facilities Commission funding for repairs because it would be cheaper to replace the buildings than repair them. He noted the estimated cost to repair all the buildings is $185 million.
“Plus, money for repairs would only bring the buildings up to code, it would not pay for additional classroom space,” said Hoover.
According to the Ohio Schools Facilities Commission, here are the estimated costs to repair each building and the total potential cost to abate (remove asbestos) and then demolish each building:
•Asbury Elementary, built in 1963 with additions in 1968 and 1969: repair cost: $14.2 million; abate/demolition cost: $240,055.
•Dunloe Elementary, built in 1967 with additions in 1968 and 1969: repair cost: $14.8 million; abate/demolition cost: $382,630.
•Glendening Elementary, built in 1968 with an addition in 1974: repair cost: $11.7 million; abate/demolition cost: $325,065
•Groveport Elementary, built in 1923 and placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2009: repair cost: $17.3 million; abate/demolition cost: $1.7 million.
•Madison Elementary, built in 1967 with additions in 1968 and 1969: repair cost: $14.1 million; abate/demolition cost: $358,765.
•Sedalia Elementary, built in 1969 with an addition in 1974: repair cost: $11.7 million; abate/demolition cost: $354,644.
•Middle School North, built in 1975: repair cost: $17.7 million; abate/demolition cost: $561,627.
•Middle School South, built in 1975: repair cost: $17.5 million; abate/demolition cost: $517,340.
•Middle School Central, built in stages between 1952-56 and placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2009: repair cost: $18.7 million; abate/demolition cost: $738,603.
•High School, built in stages between 1966-71 with an addition in 1975: repair cost: $41.7 million; abate/demolition cost: $1 million.
Voters have not approved a bond issue for new buildings in the district since the early 1970s.