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Superintendent's Message 06/09/2014

 
 

July 11, 2014
 
L-B Community:
 
This letter serves as our second of many communications to update you on the progress made on the K-8 facilities initiative.  Per last month’s communication we established our forward direction as the following;
-          The District needs a new K-8 facility.
-          The District wants the facility to be located on one campus (at the current High School location).
-          The District should fund the initiative by the way of a combination of property and income tax.
-          The District should be on the ballot in November for public consideration.
 
Since our last letter, we have spent a good deal of time working with our current engineering and architecture consultants, Garmann Miller, to update our build versus renovate analysis. This analysis was last completed by the firm, The Buehrer Group, in support of decision to build during our past two bond issues.  Garmann Miller’s updated analysis validated the former Buehrer study revealing that the cost of renovation would be just over $19.3 million dollars (see attached schedule of costs).  A significant portion of this cost (over $8 million dollars) is to construct permanent space to replace the existing modular classrooms.   
 
The current estimate to build a new building by using the Ohio Schools Facilities Commission (OSFC) framework would be approximately $32,304,480. Our  local share would be $19,590,412.  Building new is nearly the same as the cost to renovate after the state share is calculated in. 
 
At a near even cost to the district, building new allows many goals to be accomplished including meeting or exceeding state minimum guidelines for classroom sizes with available storage and accessibility, new technology and design, sufficient support facilities including layout of restroom and kitchen facilities as well as lower maintenance costs due to new construction and materials.
 
So what has changed since our last ballot issue?
-          The state share of our project has moved from 45% to 47%. 
-          The cost of materials for building has increased by 2% per our building consultants
-          Bond prices have remained flat
-          New building cost is lower than the November  2013 request for $19,704,000
 
In June, the Board took action in its public meeting to “lock in” the State funding share mentioned above.  In the July meeting, the Board anticipates passing a resolution that will call for the levy to be supported by the combination of income tax and property tax as opposed to 100% property tax.   Specific details of the resolution will be part of the public agenda and minutes and also reviewed in our next August letter.  We appreciate everyone’s feedback and engagement in the process. 
 
Yours in Education,
The Liberty-Benton Board of Education Members,
Scott Rhodes, President; AJ Granger, Vice-President; Tom Miller; Dana Morgan; Vern Strong
Jim Kanable, Superintendent



June
 9, 2014

 

Dear L-B Community:

 

In a letter dated March 10, 2014, Liberty-Benton district residents were invited to participate in an open discussion regarding school district affairs.  We wish to thank everyone who participated in our recent small group coffee sessions and our state of the schools meeting. This process was very enlightening for us as a school community. Your time is valuable and we appreciate your willingness to share your thoughts and insights.

 

As a brief recap, we were able to meet with over 300 residents on key questions concerning our K-8 building needs. There were many opinions and insights shared with us and we appreciate and respect each and every one of these.  However, amongst those who participated, there was a strong majority consensus on four items:

 

·     The District needs a new K-8 facility.

·     The District wants the facility to be located on one campus (at the current High School location).

·     The District should fund the initiative by the way of a combination of property and income tax.

·     The District should be on the ballot in November for public consideration

 

In addition to the above, the community meetings revealed that there is a desire from our stakeholders to be better informed about the process and details of a building project as it progresses through time. To this end and as a starting point, we will provide you with this type of communication on a monthly basis as we embark on the process of addressing needs surrounding a K-8 building.  In this manner, we will all be working with the same information which will allow our community to move this process forward together.   

 

The first step the Board of Education will take towards advancing the participants’ indicated desire to build a new K-8 facility will be to pass a resolution that will allow the District to bring this issue to the November 2014 ballot. The Board of Education will meet on June 16th at 6:00 pm for its regular public meeting and this will be included on the agenda for Board action.     

 

We thank you again for investing your time in our schools and for our students.

 

Yours in Education,

The Liberty-Benton Board of Education Members,

Scott Rhodes, President

AJ Granger, Vice-President

Tom Miller

Dana Morgan

Vern Strong