Groveport Madison school board wants to research bond issue

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By Rick Palsgrove
Southeast Editor

The Groveport Madison Board of Education wants as much information as possible before deciding what direction it should take regarding a potential bond issue.

The board is considering placing a bond issue on either the November 2018 or spring 2019 ballot to fund the construction of new school buildings in the district.

The board plans to contract with a research firm that would provide the district with analytical information regarding community feedback, potential building configurations, demographics, district needs, costs, an implementation plan, and comparisons with similar school districts.

On Sept. 13, the board heard presentations from two research firms – Hanover Research and Thoughtwell.
Matt Burlingham of Hanover Research said his firm could complete the research tasks in about a year at a cost of $39,500.

“Our Hanover team could be looked at as an extension of your own staff,” said Burlingham.

He said the information Hanover Research could provide would be custom tailored to Groveport Madison and that the company has the capability to examine various building configuration options.

Lynette Cook of Thoughtwell, which is a non-profit founded in 2001, said her organization could do the research work for $29,325 and have a report completed and presented to the board by January 2018.

Noting the district’s enrollment of 5,797 and that there are modular classrooms at several of the district’s schools, Cook said, “It’s clear your schools are full and you’re growing.”

She said Thoughtwell could not only provide data, but also inform the board of, “What people in the district believe, want and why they want it. We can help you determine it and address it.”

The board will review the results of the two presentations and make a decision on which research firm to hire at its Sept. 27 meeting.

“You have two quality options to choose from,” Groveport Madison Superintendent Bruce Hoover told the board.

Currently the district has a high school, three middle schools, and six elementaries. The high school will be demolished in the summer of 2018 and the new high school will open in the fall of 2018.

The board has discussed moving away from the elementary and middle school concept and instead building three 180,000 square foot schools, each situated on 24 to 34 acres of land, that would each house 1,400 to 1,600 students in grades K-8. If pursued, this plan would reduce the number of schools in the district from 10 to four.

However, the board has not yet decided on what building plan to pursue or what date to place a possible bond issue on the ballot to fund new buildings.

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