Board will discuss levy to fund maintenance

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, August 15, 2000

WILLOW WOOD – Symmes Valley school board members will meet Thursday to discuss financing a state-approved school renovation project.

Tuesday, August 15, 2000

WILLOW WOOD – Symmes Valley school board members will meet Thursday to discuss financing a state-approved school renovation project.

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"It appears we will have something on the ballot in November but we need to discuss how it will appear," superintendent Tom Ben said at Monday’s regular board meeting.

The $3.6 million renovation, funded by the state, would add classroom and library space at the high school and allow some minor work to the multi-level.

It also would require a local financial match, but it’s likely the state will allow the district to pay for that from its general fund, meaning a levy for the matching money would not be required, board president Jeff Floyd said.

Still, the district probably will have to appeal to voters this fall for a small state-required operational and maintenance levy, Floyd said.

At Thursday’s 5 p.m. special meeting, the board will consider the wording of ballot language and discuss other financial details of the project.

The district is working with the Ohio School Facilities Commission (OSFC) and the county auditor’s office to make sure the wording is right, Ben said.

The district received word this spring that the OSFC approved the addition of more than 16,000 square feet to the high school. District officials called it a continuation of the 1990 construction project aimed at improving school conditions.

The high school was built in 1962 and, despite the 10-year-old improvements, the building remains too small for its class size, officials said.

Monday, board members heard details of the renovation from Mark Tanner of Tanner, Stone and Company, the architect firm working with the district on the project.

Tanner presented preliminary blueprints of state-allowed changes to the high school.

"This is a concept to see if that’s your priority," Tanner said. "We want to work with you on what you want to present to voters in November."

Plans include tripling the high school library space by using land in front of the high school. That change would also add areas for a technology control center, audio-visual storage, a computer lab and a media production room, Tanner said.

Two classrooms will also be added near the front of the building, with three more above those, totaling five additional rooms plus the old library space, he said.

Expansions and work on restrooms, handicapped access points, communications, security, kitchens and the industrial arts area are also included, Tanner said.

The administration office space at the high school will be expanded, including a new front office inside the front door on the same level, he said.

Lighting changes and a $250,000 technology upgrade for the multi-level are also included in renovation plans, Tanner said.

Plans are subject to change but the firm foresees no problems with the OSFC, he said.

In other action, the board:

– Approved a district-wide honor roll incentive, which offers free admission to home athletic events for honor roll students.

– Approved the substitute list and contract haulers Michelle Clifton, Lisa Patterson and Debbie Wiseman for the 2000-2001 school year.

– Approved the student and employee computer/Internet policy.