Southeastern weighs construction options

The Southeastern Local School District and Ohio School Facilities Commission (OSFC) are reconsidering the possibility of renovating or rebuilding schools in the area in order to meet OSFC building standards.

In 2001, the school district, advised by an elected committee, opted not to move forward with any OSFC projects due to a lack of state funding, but after tobacco settlement monies increased available funds for school construction projects, the OSFC approached the school district again in the fall of 2007.

“They said that they (the state) would more than likely offer us money in March of this year,” said the school district’s treasurer, Brad McKee.

According to McKee, the school district has not yet officially received funding from the state, however, the school district is considering four construction options offered by the OSFC.

The first three options involve building brand new facilities at a cost that would surpass $25 million in estimated costs.

Option one is to construct a new facility to house pre-kindergarten through 12th grade and would most likely cost $26,784,907.

Option two is to build two new facilities, the first to house pre-kindergarten through fifth grade, and the second to hold grades sixth through 12th grade. The estimated project cost is $28,541,607.

Option three is again to build two new facilities. One facility would accommodate pre-kindergarten through sixth grade, and the other, seventh through 12th grades. The estimated cost of this option is $27,823,165.

All three options are expected to receive 49 percent of necessary funding from the state, while 52 percent of the funds must come from local sources.

According to McKee, depending on which option, if any, is decided upon, the school district would have to place a property tax levy on the ballot. Such a levy would require residents to pay $319 to $327 per year for every $100,000 of property valuation.

The fourth option offered by the OSFC aims to renovate the existing facilities. This option would cost an estimated $25,429,656, which does not include the cost to rent alternative spaces for 890 students in the school district during the construction process.

Also, the school district would be responsible for covering $13 million of the cost of option four, which is over 52 percent of the total and a higher percentage compared to the first three options. The state would cover the other 48 percent.

The school district also can choose to defer all OSFC projects for one year.

In order to include a levy proposal on the November ballot, the school district must decide whether or not to move forward with one of the four projects, and which one, by August.

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