By Rick Palsgrove
Groveport Madison Schools officials are looking to consolidate facilities to save the district money and to improve efficiency.
On Aug. 12, the Groveport Madison Board of Education approved the sale of $9.5 million in bonds to fund the purchase and remodeling of a 30-year-old, 109,000 square foot building located at 4400 Marketing Place in Groveport. The $9.5 million in bond sales will cover the building’s purchase price of $2.8 million with the balance of the money to be used to remodel the building for the district’s uses. The building is currently unoccupied.
The plan is to locate the district administration office, Cruiser Academy, the Innovation Center, and the bus garage at this new location. The district leases the buildings that three of these facilities currently occupy. Cruiser Academy is at 2747 Winchester Pike, the administration office is at 5940 Clyde Moore Drive, and the Innovation Center is at 6006 Groveport Road.
Groveport Madison Superintendent Bruce Hoover said it costs the district a total of $324,000 per year to rent all three buildings.
The bus garage, which is owned by the district, is currently located at the high school at 4475 S. Hamilton Road, but must be moved due to the construction of the new high school.
“It’s time to look at a district owned site for all of these facilities so we can control costs and to centralize our busing,” said Hoover. “In the long run the district will save money by owning and not renting. At the end of the day it’s better to own. We’re looking for ways to save money.”
He said another advantage of the building’s location, which borders the high school property to the northwest, is that it will give the high school another potential traffic ingress/egress outlet.
Hoover said the district looked at options with Petermann Transportation to move the bus garage to another site not owned by the district, but the lowest option to do so would cost $600,000, so district officials rejected that idea. Instead, he said, the district can obtain revenue by asking Petermann Transportation to lease bus space for approximately $150,000 per year by moving the bus garage to the Marketing Place location.
Hoover said the plan is to have the remodeling of 4400 Marketing Place completed by June of 2016, which would enable the district to move into the building later in the summer of 2016 before the 2016-17 school year. He said the bus garage can move in sooner.
Hoover said the district has requested a zoning variance for the Marketing Place building from the city of Groveport. He said if the city does not approve the variance, the district is not obligated to complete the purchase of the building.