By Rick Palsgrove
Groveport City Council took steps on Oct. 13 to ease the process for two of Groveport Madison Local Schools’ projects.
Council approved (by emergency so it would go into effect immediately) an ordinance for a zoning variance to allow Groveport Madison Schools to relocate its district administration office, Cruiser Academy, Innovation Center, and bus garage to 4400 Marketing Place. District officials are consolidating their facilities as a cost saving measure.
Groveport Madison Schools Superintendent Bruce Hoover said council’s action enables the district to stay within the timeline restrictions for the real estate transaction for the property.
The Groveport Madison Board of Education approved the sale of $9.5 million in bonds to fund the purchase and remodeling of the 30-year-old, 109,000 square foot building at 4400 Marketing Place in Groveport. The bond sales 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.
Hoover said the plan is to have the remodeling of 4400 Marketing Place done 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.
Council also approved, by emergency, an ordinance authorizing Groveport City Administrator Marsha Hall to waive certain city fees related to the school district’s construction of the new Groveport Madison High School.
Hoover said waiving some fees in connection with the construction of the district’s 247,879 square foot new high school on South Hamilton Road will save the district money which can be put back into the project itself.
Hall said, at this point, the city does not know what the estimated dollar amount for the fee waivers will be.
“We will know once all of the plans are submitted (by the school district) and reviewed internally (by the city),” said Hall. “This is why we are describing the type of fee to be waived, not amounts.”
Hall said fees that can be waived include: those the city does not have to pay, such as plan review fees by the engineer; permit fees paid to the city; the small amount of capacity fees (if plans show additional or larger water and sewer lines than current) that the city retains; any building reviews performed in-house; and HVAC inspection fees performed in-house.
Fees that cannot be waived, according to Hall, are: those the city is responsible to pay an outside consultant or agency, such as inspection fees by an outside firm hired by the city, capacity fees (again possibly) for water and sewer owed to the city of Columbus, and building review fees for reviews performed by an outside firm contracted by the city.
Since council approved the fee waiver ordinance, specific waivers do not need to go back to council for approval, according to Hall.
“We will maintain a spreadsheet in the building department that provides specific amounts waived and not waived,” said Hall.