The Tipp City Schools Board of Education has started the process of reviewing options for new classrooms for district students.
The board met Monday, July 10, in a special session for detailed discussion on possible building options 15 months after a proposed 3.98-mill bond issue to build a new prekindergarten through third grade building on the site of Broadway Elementary Schools was defeated by voters.
The 90-minute discussion covered a number of topics from why that 2016 proposal failed to whether state funding should be sought and what type of proposals should be presented to the community. The discussion included architect Mike Ruetschle of Ruetschle Architects, who has worked with the district on reviewing building options and developing proposals for several years.
The board Monday reviewed four possible building options deciding, in the end, to explore further with the community two of the options.
Those options included Option A with a new prekindergarten through grade six building, grades seven-eight at L.T. Ball and grades nine through 12 at the high school. Sixth grade students now attend the Middle School along with grades seven and eight.
The second option supported, Option C, would include a new prekindergarten through grade five building, grades six-eight at the Middle School and nine-12 at the high school.
A location for a new building was not specified.
Board members said they wanted to study both options further but were “leaning toward” Option A.
Ruetschle and Superintendent Gretta Kumpf said the proposals were developed as discussions with Ohio School Facilities Commission (OSFC) representatives continue. The district at this time is eligible for 27 percent state funding for a project.
The estimated cost for Option A including the new building, additional space beyond what the state would help fund and locally funded initiatives such as partial L.T. Ball renovation was $41.8 million with a $32.896 million local share.
For Option C including the new building, additional space and locally funded initiatives including Middle School renovation was $36.1 million with a $29.164 million local share.
Treasurer Dave Stevens said estimated bond issue amounts were based on 30- year bonds at 5 percent interest.
He and Ruetschle noted some numbers would change when a higher district valuation now available was figured in and a state share for demolition costs added to Option C estimates.
Estimated millage for Option A with the required 0.5 mills permanent improvement levy was 5.69 mills while Option C with the 0.5 mills was 5.1 mills.
Board President Sam Spano said a fall 2018 request to voters was being considered with an OSFC representative saying there is a 50-50 chance there will be state funding for the district at that time.
A possible project timeline reviewed with the board showed community engagement forums beginning as early as this fall, a vote in fall 2018 and, if successful, groundbreaking in summer 2020 and move in in summer 2022.
Two options the board did not discuss in detail were a prekindergarten through grade eight building with a $54 million cost and a new prekindergarten through grade three building at $27 million.