BOE Holds Off On Decision

NEW BREMEN — Members of the New Bremen Board of Education heard a presentation mapping out the costs of renovating the elementary school building versus constructing a new building from Freytag and Associates Wednesday night at their regular board meeting.

In their presentation, representatives from Freytag and Associates told board members the cost to taxpayers for renovating the elementary school would be approximately $11.8 million, while the cost for a new elementary building would be a $12.4 million hit to taxpayers. The other half of the funding for the renovation or construction for a new building would come from the Ohio School Facilities Commission (OSFC) through the Classroom Facilities project. In terms of a renovation, Larry Ludlow of Fretyag and Associates said the OSFC had not agreed to pay half of the renovation costs.

“Keep in mind that because of the magnitude of what it would take to bring this building up to the standards, the OSFC hasn’t offered you that,” he said. “It’s been discussed, but that’s not actually an offer on the table.”

If board members decided to renovate the facility, in order to receive funding from the OSFC, they would have to reach an agreement with the organization.

“We’d have to go back to them and ask if this is an acceptable plan,” John Freytag said. “They may say yes or they may say no or they may say they’ll fund it up to a certain amount. We haven’t asked that yet.”

Freytag and Associates also presented the possibilities of keeping the 1970s gym and minor renovations to the high school. Ludlow noted that because deadlines are coming up, board members will need to make a decision on which option they would like to move with.

“We’re at the point that you need to start making some decisions,” he said.

“What is the project? We’ve outlined the scope of work on a project based on several conversations that we’ve had with the administration, the administration has gone and toured a few buildings and we have the proposal from the OSFC as to what they’re willing to co-fund …We need to get the legal people involved in making sure these estimates are all where you want them to be at.”

Oct. 7 is the last day to file a state consent application, or a special needs application.

The deadline for file a resolution for the February ballot is Nov. 9.

Board member Tim Quellhorst said the community should have a chance to weigh in on the decision.

“At this point, we’re basically saying we’re going to build a new building and that the renovation of this building is off the table — that’s what we’re saying if we pass this resolution,” Quellhorst said. “I think there’s a need for community input on the decision to not renovate this building. We have not solicited that yet.”

Board members decided to hold off on passing a resolution in favor of working to get community feedback for the project first. A tour of the elementary building, followed by a presentation by Freytag and Associates and a public discussion of the options will be held at 7 p.m. Sept 13. All interested are encouraged to attend.

Following the presentation, Quellhorst announced that the August meeting would be his last serving as a voting member of the New Bremen Board of Education, as he will be moving out of the district. He noted that he will still be available to help if needed.

“Because of the involvement I’ve had on the school projects, I can help with tours and answer questions and things of that nature — I’d be more than happy to help with that,” he said.

“I did not seek re-election, so my term will be ending in December anyway. I’m moving a little sooner than I thought.”

Superintendent Ann Harvey thanked Quellhorst for his time served on the board of education.

“I think we can take this opportunity to thank (Quellhorst) for (his) service to the board, for (his) service to New Bremen Schools and the community,” Harvey said.

“I thought (he) did an excellent job of representing the students, and I always look to the board as people who are voted in to represent students. (He) always had their interests in mind.”

In her presentation to the board, Elementary Principal Diane Kramer thanked the custodial staff for their work getting the building ready for students.

She also noted that interviews with five candidates for the nursing positions have been conducted.

“The building is looking good,” she said. “I think our custodial staff is actually ahead of schedule. They commented on how good the summer help was. They said it was great. They work well together.”

In his report to the board, Middle School Principal Howard Overman  thanked Elliott Westerbeck, Derek Bornhorst and Joe Brinkman for their efforts in getting the buses ready for inspection. All busses passed the state inspection. He also thanked Adams Window Washing for donating their time to “make the windows shine.” The middle school meet the teacher night will be held from 7 p.m. to 8 p.m. Aug. 22.

In his presentation to the board, High School Principal Frank Borchers also noted that the meet the teacher night for the high school is scheduled from 7 p.m. to 8 p.m. Aug. 22. He also announced that Olivia Bergman, a New Bremen High School graduate, will be the long-term substitute for Shelly Poeppelman, as she is on maternity leave.

Student representatives for each of the fall sports also attended the meeting to inform the board of their season to date and their feelings about the upcoming season.

In other business, board members:

• Approved the regular meeting minutes from the July 13 meeting.

• Approved the general fund paid bills and the lunchroom fund paid bills.

• Approved the removal of the $10.25 12th grade English fee.

• Approved the resignations of Kay Schmiesing, school heath aide, Joan Fark, cafeteria worker, Adam Topp, cross country coach, Howard Overman, junior high volleyball facility coordinator, and Gary Jones, high school football facility coordinator.

• Approved the employment of Tiziana Frey, cafeteria worker.

• Approved the supplemental contacts for Brooks Topp, cross country coach, Scott Paul, high school football facility coordinator, and Steph Elking, junior high volleyball facility coordinator.

• Approved a change in salary placement for Mary Thornsberry, elementary music teacher, and Shelly Poeppelman, high school English teacher.

• Approved a $250 stipend for Becky Keller for work as the Chairperson of the Grading for Learning Committee.

• Approved an adjustment of hours for Donna Steineman in the elementary/middle school cafeteria.

• Approved Nickles Bakery of Lima for bakery products and Reinhard Dairy of Fort Recovery for dairy products for the 2011-12 school year.

• Approved the attendance and transportation of students to special schools to meet their educational needs as so recommended by the Administration and County Psychologist.

• Approved to adopt board policy GDBC – Support Staff Fringe Benefits.

• Approved to move the Nov. 16 regular board meeting to 7:30 p.m. Nov. 7.

The next regular meeting of the New Bremen Board of Education will be held at 7:30 p.m. Sept. 14.