BOE Briefed On Buildings

NEW BREMEN — The New Bremen Board of Education met Wednesday evening to hear a presentation from Freytag and Associates about building site options for the new elementary building.

Larry Ludlow, of Freytag and Associates, presented the board with three options for the location of the new building, each connected to the high school.

“Based on our review with the administrative team discussing programming and building use and with architectural knowledge of the current high school building and site, we’ve developed three potential building locations for your review tonight,” Ludlow said.

The first option Ludlow presented placed the building on the west side of the high school. Ludlow noted that the pros of the location include the easiest access to the shared spaces, which are currently located on the west side of the building, a view of the new building from Ohio 274, a better separation between high school and elementary and middle school students, vehicle traffic separation can be maintained and it creates minimal interruption to the south parking lot.

Ludlow noted that the option also presented some cons, including the drive from Ohio 274 to the athletic complex would be eliminated, the distance to the potential shared library is the greatest of the three options, the option may require relocating some utilities to the high school and athletic building, the option would create the greatest distance between where food will be prepared in the high school kitchen and the elementary cafeteria and the band practice field would be relocated.

Ludlow also presented the board with two additional options, placing the new building on the south side from the gym hall and from the south side on the academic hall of the high school. The board weighed the sides of each option, but favored the first option of placing the building on the west side of the high school. Superintendent John Basinger noted the district could work with any of the three options.

“All three could work,” he said. “If you were forced into a decision, you could make any one of the three work. The question is, because you have options of having it multiple places, you have the luxury of deciding which of the three you think will work best. Guaranteed you’re going to run into problems no matter which way you choose. If it’s a staffing problem with adults, we can handle that. If it’s a kid problem, that’s a lot tougher to solve.”

Basinger urged board members to keep their timeline in mind.

“From a timeline point of view, you’re expecting people to vote on it in March,” Basinger said. “There needs to be some type of campaign and in the campaign, you need to have some renderings, and you need to have that probably by January. ... If we can get to a decision that allows them (Freytag and Associates) to proceed with a narrowed down focus, then I guess that’s what we’re asking.”

Board members also discussed forming two committees to aid in the process, a building committee and a levy committee. The committees would be comprised of board members, staff members and community members to get a balanced view on how the board should proceed. Board Member Kami Fox noted the board discussed having no more than 10 people on each committee, and a list of community volunteers has already been obtained. John Freytag, of Freytag and Associates, noted that those not on the committees may still have a chance to have their input heard later in the process.

“We’re just trying to get the general direction and a recommendation from the board to say ‘let’s proceed,’” he said, noting that they will want more input when the levy passes.

Board members passed a “resolution authorizing the school district board to enter into a resolution of acceptance in the Ohio School Facilities Commission Classroom Facilities Assistance Program.” Treasurer Deb Meyer said the board had previously talked about the resolution.

“We talked about his a few months ago and we decided we wanted to have the community meeting,” Meyer said. “We’re under a deadline to have this approved and sent back to them. This is basically saying ‘we accept your money.’”

The board also passed a “resolution requesting state consents to issue bonds of the school district in an amount not to exceed $13.5 million and to submit question of such issuance to the electors.”  

“We’re asking for state consent for special needs,” Meyer said, noting that the board had also already discussed the resolution.

Meyer issued a Certificate of Estimate Life and Maximum Maturity and noted that the step certifies that the actions the district is taking are making lasting improvements.

“Basically it says what we’re doing here is a permanent improvement, it has a useful life of more than five years, and we’re going to pay for it over the course of 33 years,” Meyer said.

A Resolution of Necessity was also passed, which Meyer noted was the first step in putting the issue on the ballot.

“From here it goes to the county auditor,” Meyer said. “The county auditor will then certify the millage to us, she will send us back paperwork certifying the millage. Then we have to do a resolution of intent to proceed, which would specify the ballot language exactly how it would show up on the ballot.”

Board Member Mark Barhorst noted the resolution changed the original term of 38 years down to 33.

The district will be receiving bids for a new school bus through the Southwestern Ohio Educational Purchasing Council.

“They will do the bidding process for any school that wants to be a part of it for buses,” Meyer said. “Rather than every school bidding out their own buses and bidding out multiple bid openings, they collect them all. ... It drives the price down.”

In other business, board members:

• Approved the regular meeting minutes for Sept. 7 and the special meeting minutes for Sept. 13, 17 and 21.

• Approved the general fund paid bills.

• Approved the lunchroom fund paid bills.

• Approved the five year forecast dated Oct. 10.

• Accepted the resignation of Junior High Football Facility Coordinator Chad Williams.

• Approved the supplemental contracts for Don Burroughs, mentor teacher for S. Hemmelgarn, Andy Timmerman, seventh grade boys basketball, Gary Jones, junior high football facility coordinator, and Molly Rush, title I coach/mentor teacher.

• Approved Cardinal Pride’s request to substitute Aunti Anne’s pretzels sale in place of the pie sale.

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