NEW BREMEN — The New Bremen Board of Education held a community meeting Wednesday night to update residents on the possible building project.
The meeting was the second the board has had with the community to receive feedback on building a new elementary school. After the first community meeting, board members found that a majority of attendees were in favor of moving forward with a new building. Board of Education President Keith Bornhorst said the second meeting was held to update the community on the status of the project, which will be on the March ballot.
John Freytag, of Freytag and Associates, explained the site survey, which places the new school on the west side of the high school. Freytag highlighted the traffic flow, staff, student, visitor and bus parking, a new playground and a moved band practice field.
Dan Freytag, also of Freytag and Associates, presented attendees with the potential floor plan diagram, showcasing two floors in the academic wing with classrooms, extended learning areas and a library for the elementary school and a library for the middle school. The diagram also depicts a cafeteria, warming kitchen and a new gymnasium. Dan Freytag noted that the diagram is preliminary.
“There’s not a lot of detail because we’re trying to get the organization,” he said, noting that things may move around when the project enters the design phase. “There’s a lot of work (to be done), but this gives us the organization we need to get started.”
Dan Freytag also laid out a tentative construction timeline. The design phase, he said, will begin after the March primary election, assuming the levy passes. The design phase will continue through the early spring of 2013, when the bid phase is tentatively scheduled to begin. He said the construction phase will begin in the spring of 2013 and run through the summer of 2014. Dan Freytag stressed that the timeline is tentative.
“This is typical — it’s what you might expect,” he said, noting that the timing depends on guidelines set by the Ohio Schools Facilities Commission (OSFC).
Treasurer Deb Meyer explained to community members that the local share of the new building, which will be partially funded by the OSFC, will be 7.3 mills. A 1-mill maintenance levy is required by OSFC guidelines, however Meyer said that if the school levy passes, the board has passed a motion to not collect on the current permanent improvement levy, leaving tax payers with a 0.25- mill increase, instead of 1 mill.
“The board has already taken action, and if the levy passes, we will no longer collect on the current 0.75-mill levy,” Meyer said.
The total 7.55-mill levy, Meyer said, will cost taxpayers approximately $231.22 a year for a resident with a $100,000 home. She broke the number down to $19.27 a month, $4.45 a week and 63 cents a day.
Bornhorst addressed a handful of issues regarding what will happen with the current building and its assets if the levy passes. He noted that the board would try to sell the current building as is, but if a buyer is not found in a reasonable amount of time, the building will be demolished and the land will be sold.
He noted that the baseball diamond and the football field will be kept.
“We do plan to continue to use these facilities,” he said, noting that the community also uses the fields.
The board is still discussing whether or not to take the track and playground equipment to the new school, Bornhorst said, and the bus parking lot will be returned to the village. He noted that the school is currently renting the bus parking lot.
After discussion, Bornhorst said the board did not find it to be cost effective to keep the gymnasium.
“It’s a very significant cost to close that up and keep it,” he said, noting that in addition to the initial cost, the school would also have to pay to maintain the facility.
After the meeting, residents who were unable to attend the first meeting who were interested in taking a tour of the current building were able to do so.
Superintendent John Basinger said the slideshow from the meeting will be posted to the district’s website, Bremen.k12.us, under the Facilities Project link.
Answers to frequently asked questions concerning the current school, the new school, the finances and other miscellaneous topics have already been posted to the district’s website. A form is also available on the website for those with additional questions that have not already been answered.
Basinger encouraged anyone interested in getting involved in a committee for the building project or with more questions regarding the project to contact the school at 419-629-8606.