RecSchool rebuild cost comes in over estimate

By Andrea Cordle

Grove City Editor

The plan to construct a new Grove City RecSchool building at Gantz Park is moving forward, but at a higher cost than originally anticipated.

At the May 6 meeting, Grove City Council approved a resolution to waive provisions of the Ohio Revised Code to accept bids for the RecSchool project. According to City Administrator Chuck Boso, the city received four bids for the building project. All were more than the 10 percent limit over the estimate.

“This (legislation) gives us the ability to award that contract,” said Boso regarding waiving the provisions due to costs coming in higher than anticipated.

Boso said the bids ranged in cost from $1.9 million to $2.1 million. Architects the city had worked with estimated that the project would cost $1.2 million.

Councilman Randy Holt said the bids were significantly higher that what was estimated.

“I just wonder why the architect’s estimate was so far off,” he said.

Boso said city administrators and architects are trying to find the answer to that question.

In March, city council approved a development plan for the Gantz Park RecSchool Program Center. This will be a 3,417 square foot building in Gantz Park (2255 Home Road), the original site of the program that aims to educate preschool-aged children.

The RecSchool program had been held at the Kingston Center for the last year. It was previously housed in the big red barn at Gantz Park. However, in the summer of 2022, city officials discovered that a colony of bats were living in the building and those bats caused extensive damage to the barn.

Though efforts were made to save the barn that had been at the park for about a century, the decision was made to demolish the building.

The planned building will be in the same area of the park as the former barn and will include a deck off the back of the building that overlooks the park. The space will include three classrooms. Two of the classrooms will be for educating children and one would be used as a multi-purpose space for play, training, or community events. With the extra space, the RecSchool program should be able to increase its number of students from 136 to 150.

The Grove City RecSchool offers a setting where nature is incorporated into the lesson plans for the students.

City officials appropriated over $1.6 million in the 2024 budget for the RecSchool Center. At its next meeting, to be held on May 20, the council is scheduled to vote on an ordinance that would set aside an additional $250,000 for the added expense of building the center.

Once the council approves that legislation, the city can award the bid.

City officials hope to start construction this year.



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