Recently, our district embarked on a comprehensive community engagement process. The purpose was to recommend a facilities master plan to our Board of Education. Preble Shawnee Schools contracted with SHP Leading Design to facilitate the endeavor. We worked alongside the Ohio Facilities Construction Commission (OFCC) to evaluate our available co-funding options with the state.
A Community Advisory Team met many times throughout the 2018-19 school year. The group was comprised of many community members with differing viewpoints on the best way to achieve our facility goals. In addition to our advisory team meetings, the district hosted several Community Outreach Forums. These forums summarized our progress, provided transparency, and a way for community members, not part of the advisory team, to provide input.
Because of the meetings and forums where our citizens worked together to assist the Board of Education in creating a final plan, an OFCC Master Plan was adopted on September 12, 2019. The plan consisted of a segmented project: a new PK-5 building now and a new 6-12 building sometime in the future. At that time, we will examine our facility needs and decide whether to partner with the OFCC to complete the final segment with no obligation.
At the same meeting, the Board of Education also approved a resolution detailing our Facilities Master Plan based from the following data: OFCC costs and figures, Community Advisory Team meetings, Community Forums, a professional scientific survey, ongoing discussions among stakeholders, and cost estimates from independent contractors. The Preble Shawnee Facilities Master Plan consists of the following:
- Construction of a new PK-5 building on the existing property of Camden Primary, directly behind current structure. We will fund this project with the OFCC paying 66% of the base cost and Preble Shawnee responsible for 34%. We will place a Bond Issue on the March 17, 2020 ballot for the amount needed to finance our share of the project. The local cost of the project will total $10,155,365 and the millage is 3.75 mills for a 25-year term.
- The current Jr/Sr High School will undergo extensive renovations to make the building a great learning environment for the next twenty years (at a minimum). The renovations can happen quickly and will include the following:
Initial Renovation beginning Summer 2021 (possibly Summer 2020): adding air conditioning, electrical support, plumbing supply lines, replacing lighting with LED, security upgrades, fire system upgrades, and ceiling replacement
Future Renovations as necessary AND as funds are available: replacement of the roof, flooring, windows, cabinets/casework, classroom desks, tables, chairs, etc.; asphalt repairs; and technology upgrades
We will use $4-6.5 million dollars of our current carryover to pay for the initial phase of the renovation. We will fund further phases through a combination of energy and staffing savings by decreasing the number of buildings operated from three to two.
We need to place a 5-year .75% Income Tax on the March 17, 2020 ballot for operations regardless of the facility plan. We cannot move forward with the planned renovations without the passage of this levy. We will close West Elkton Intermediate School and work with the village on the future of the building. There will be money in the OFCC budget to abate/demo West Elkton. We will abate/demo Camden Primary to make way for the new Preble Shawnee Elementary School (parking and bus lots, playground equipment, green space, etc.). Both buildings would close when the new PK-5 building is ready for occupancy. There will not be a need to displace students during the construction of the new Preble Shawnee Elementary School, as we will utilize both Camden and West Elkton during construction.
We would like to thank the members of the Community Advisory Team and the citizens attending the Community Outreach Forums for the input provided. It was inspiring to see so many ideas shared and how everyone thoughtfully listened and valued differing opinions. We believe this plan will move our district forward and accomplish our facility needs. In the coming months, we will continue to communicate our Preble Shawnee Facilities Master Plan and how we believe it will positively impact current and future generations of Arrows!
Preble Shawnee Local Board of Education/Administration