Last March, voters approved a 4.9-mill bond issue and maintenance levy for the Reynoldsburg City School District.
The approved bond issue will provide $111 million ($55 million of those dollars coming from in state funds) in state and local dollars for school reconstruction and renovation.
The big question was what to do with all that addition resource.
Soon after the bond issue results were announced, the Reynoldsburg Board of Education assembled a group of community members (including students, teachers and parents) called the Reynoldsburg Reach.
"We wanted to find out what the community really wants and it couldn’t be possible without them," said board member Chip Martin.
Through a series of meetings over three months (27 meetings in 60 days), they discussed plans for a new high school and two new elementary schools, and were to give their results from community members in June to the board for both further action and to show their blueprint for the future of Reynoldsburg schools to the public.
However, even though the final meeting was held in late May, at the June 17 board meeting, it was announced that the data input would not be finalized until July.
"We will have the preliminary data ready sooner, but there is always a story behind the data," said Superintendent Stephen Dackin.
The unveiling of his and the Reynoldsburg Reach recommendations are tentatively scheduled for the next board of meeting on July 15 at 7 p.m. at the municipal building.
Renovated track and field
The Reynoldsburg High School girls and boys track teams did well at the State Track and Field tournament last weekend. (The girls team placed second, while the boys took eighth place.)
"I think it was an amazing accomplishment because they did it on, and forgive my French, the crappiest track in Central Ohio," said Martin.
That will soon change, as the board approved a resolution to advertise for bids for the track and field renovation at Reynoldsburg High School.
As part of the first scheduled bond issue project, the football field and the track at the high school will be refurbished with artificial turf and new pavement.
The project is collaborative effort between the district and the parent led fundraising organization, the Touchdown Club. According to Business Manager Ron Strussion, the Touchdown Club made a commitment to fund $15,000 a year (for 12 years) to go towards the field.
In order to support obtaining Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) points in the energy and atmosphere category, the board passed a resolution to revise their project acceptance of the Ohio School Facilities Commission (OSFC) Classroom Facilities Assistance Program.
The United States Green Building Council’s LEED provides a nationally recognized standard and a third party certification of attaining design practices that are energy efficient and with schools, that certification is called the Silver Certification Standard.
According to the OSFC, the energy efficient designs for new buildings are said to substantially reduce the energy use of buildings, thus reducing a school district’s ongoing operating costs.
The OSFC (who matched the district’s money when the $56 million bond issue passed) desires schools attain the highest level of LEED for schools certification as is practical and aspires to reach Gold certification.
The costs of school fees for the upcoming 2008-09 school year raised the eyebrows of a few board members.
"I believe we need to look at these fees and make sure they are warranted," said Board Vice-President Andrew Swope. "I was always under the impression that public education is supposed to be on a no cost basis."
In high school, there are fees for specific classes, such as photography or science labs, but the updated fee policy would ask for fees on workbooks for students in kindergarten through the sixth grade.
The athletic fee for students-athletes will also increase by $5.
Even though school just let out for the summer, the board is planning for the upcoming fall school calendar year.
"We believe this new adjustment to the policy will make the start a little easier on the students," said Board President Cheryl Max.
Starting Monday, Aug. 25, students at the district’s elementary schools and at the middle schools whose last names begin with the letters A through L will attend school on that day, but will not attend school on Tuesday, Aug. 26. That day is reserved for students who have last names beginnings with the letters M through Z. On Aug. 27, all students will attend on that day.
At Baldwin Road Junior High School, and at Waggoner Road Junior High School, only eighth graders will attend school on Aug. 25, while seventh graders attend on Aug. 26. On Aug. 27, all students will attend.
At the high school level, only members of the freshman class will attend school on Aug. 25, with all students attending on Aug. 26.