Schools move forward with OSFC

After taking a step backward to downscale its Phase II construction plans, the London Board of Education took a step forward in the process at its recent meeting.

On Oct. 20, the board passed a resolution to participate in the Ohio School Facilities Commission (OSFC) "Classroom Facilities Assistance Program." This officially gets the ball rolling toward release of state funds for construction of a middle school for grades 6-8, renovations at the high school, and demolition of the old elementary school.

The resolution reflects the adjustments the school district has made to its master facilities plan based on new enrollment projections from OSFC. It also outlines the budget.

The estimated cost of the Phase II projects is $23 million, which will be paid for with state funds. The school district met its obligation in its agreement with the state by covering Phase I of construction with local tax money in the amount of $27 million (54 percent of the cost of Phase I and Phase II combined). Phase I included the new elementary school and additions at the high school.

Through a new OSFC policy, the district can further partner with the state on expenditures related to traffic control, said Superintendent Steve Allen. The possibilities include installing turning lanes on Route 38 at the site for the new middle school. A maximum of $300,000 can be spent on such projects. London Schools’ local share would be a maximum of $128,000; the state would cover the rest.

The board’s resolution will be forwarded to OSFC, which will meet on Nov. 20. If OFSC signs off on the resolution, the school district should start seeing money from the state in the first quarter of 2009, Allen said. The next step will be to start the engineering and planning process, which entails what the new middle school will look like and where on the site it will be placed.

The site for the middle school is located across Route 38 from the elementary and high school campus. Allen said the district has contracted with a company to do soil core drilling to be sure the land is suitable for construction. He expects the company’s report back in six weeks. In the meantime, the school district and the City of London, which owns the land, are working out the final details of the land transfer.

If everything goes well, Allen said, the district will tear down the old elementary and start digging for the new middle school next summer.

Principal’s car accident
Tony Brake, assistant principal at London Elementary, updated the board on the condition of Principal Carol Daniels, who was in a car accident on Oct. 16.

"Her recovery is slower than was anticipated… she is really sore," he said.

Daniels was making a lefthand turn onto Route 40 from Route 38 between 4:30 and 5 p.m. when another motorist ran a red light and struck Daniels’ vehicle. Daniels was transported by helicopter to a hospital for treatment. She was hospitalized overnight and sent home the next day.

According to Brake, Daniels broke her collarbone, cracked or broke ribs, and has a shoulder injury. She was expected to be out of work for seven to 10 days.

"We’re just glad she’s doing as well as she can be," said board President Nancy Smith.

Graduation date moved
London High School’s seniors will participate in commencement ceremonies on June 7, 2009, instead of May 31 as originally planned. The reason, Allen said, is to allow more time to prepare for the event and lessen the chance for mistakes.

Treasurer pay raise
The board approved a 2 percent salary increase for Treasurer Britt Lewis, retroactive to Aug. 1 for the 2008-09 school year.

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