NEW BREMEN — The New Bremen Board of Education met Wednesday night to hear an update from Freytag and Associates about a possible layout for the building project in preparation for the community meeting next week.
“You will recall at the last meeting we had a lot of discussion about the location of the proposed new facility, and after that discussion, we reached the consensus that to the west of the current building seemed to be the most appropriate place to put the school,” Larry Ludlow of Freytag and Associates said. “Since that time, we have met with the administration, and the new building committee and we have further developed a site plan and a footprint for a building.”
John Freytag explained the site plan for the proposed building, which places the new elementary school on the west side of the current high school. The plan features new parking lots to help create a safe traffic flow and a playground for the elementary students among others.
“Separation is the main thing,” Freytag said. “You’ve got staff, parent dropoff, bus and student parking — it gives you a nice separation of those circulation functions.”
Dan Freytag explained the possibilities with the floor plan for the proposed building, which includes a library for the elementary school and middle school, a cafeteria, gym and extended learning areas in addition to the classrooms.
Board President Keith Bornhorst noted that the diagram is subject to change.
“This is just preliminary to make sure we have all the puzzle pieces on the page,” he said. “Things are going to shift around.”
Superintendent John Basinger said that there are still some unanswered questions regarding the floor plan, including the size of the gym and classrooms.
“There are issues out there that if money was no object, you could solve it in a minute but of course, money is an object that we have to deal with, along with the Ohio School Facilities Commission,” Basinger said. “The important thing from the message we heard tonight is that this is a perception of how it could look. There are going to be changes, and those changes will develop when you get into the design detail phase of the project.”
Board members agreed the plans were ready to take to the community meeting that will be held at 7 p.m. Wednesday in the small gym at the middle school.
Basinger also explained House Bill 136 to board members, saying the bill is “terrible for public education.”
“House Bill 136 is a charter school initiative that our administrator from Lima is pushing,” Basinger said. “It opens up charter vouchers to almost anybody that wants them, including people that are currently attending private schools. The money for that would come out of our dollars that the state is sending to us.”
Basinger said the Ohio School Boards Association is encouraging school boards to voice opposition to the bill.
“OSBA is proposing that the board of education pass a resolution opposing that (House Bill 136) so that they have ammunition to take to the state legislatures to promote defeating that when it comes to a vote,” he said.
He noted that approximately 200 school boards have opposed the bill, and superintendents in the area in the Auglaize County ESC already signed a letter opposing House Bill 136. The board unanimously voted to pass a resolution opposing House Bill 136.
Basinger also thanked Board Member Mark Barhorst for his service to the board, as his term expires at the end of December.
“I would like to thank Mark on behalf of our community, our staff, our administrators,” he said. “I want to thank you for stepping back up to the plate.”
Board members met in executive session to discuss personnel for appointment or evaluation, and no action was taken when the board reconvened in regular session.
In other business, board members:
• Approved the Nov. 7 regular board meeting minutes and the Nov. 30 building committee meeting minutes.
• Approved the general fund paid bills.
• Approved the lunchroom fund paid bills.
• Accepted an $811 donation from the Cooper Family Foundation for the purchase of a swim record board.
• Approved the resignation of Rob Messick, head football coach.
• Approved a one-year contract for Tizianna Monty-Frey, swim coach.
• Recognized the following volunteers for the 2011-12 school year: Leslie Schmiesing, high school basketball cheerleading, Tom Thieman and Jonathan Crusie, junior high boys basketball, Brian Alig, bowling club team coach, and Zach Linniman and Jacob Schwable, bowling team
• Accepted a bid by Cardinal Bus Sales & Service for a 2013 transit style, 84 passenger bus for $84,954 plus $604 for special spicifications of remote mirrors, a heat pump and prelux fog lights.
• Approved a motion authorizing the district to scrap bus No. 2.
• Authorized the school district membership with the Ohio School Boards Association.
• Approved a motion to hold an organizational meeting at 7:30 p.m. Jan. 11.
The next regularly scheduled meeting of the New Bremen Board of Education is scheduled for 7:45 p.m. Jan. 11 in the community room.