Tipp City schools again weighing renovation/construction options

Tipp City school officials are discussing the future of L.T. Ball Intermediate School (above), as well as the Nevin Coppock and Broadway school buildings. CONTRIBUTED.

Combined ShapeCaption
Tipp City school officials are discussing the future of L.T. Ball Intermediate School (above), as well as the Nevin Coppock and Broadway school buildings. CONTRIBUTED.

Four separate proposals are being discussed by the district’s facilities committee

TIPP CITY — The Tipp City Exempted Village Schools are again exploring options for new classrooms, as four possible concepts were shared with the board of education earlier this month.

District voters last considered a tax request for new classrooms in 2019. They rejected a plan for renovations to L.T. Ball Intermediate School and an addition to house students in prekindergarten through grade five.

The youngest students today are housed at Broadway Elementary and Nevin Coppock Elementary, and grades four and five are at L.T. Ball. Under the defeated proposal, the Broadway/Tipp Central and Nevin Coppock buildings would have been demolished.

A district facilities committee began meeting several months ago to explore another project. The committee includes Superintendent Mark Stefanik, board President Simon Patry, Treasurer Melanie Fox and others, with a teachers representative recently added to the mix.

Stefanik told the board four concepts were outlined for the committee by architect Mike Ruetschle. Although the committee is not yet ready to make a recommendation, it appeared to be leaning toward one of the concepts, Stefanik said.

ExploreEarlier this year: Tipp schools restart facilities discussion

The concepts the facilities committee has looked at so far include:

A) Renovate Broadway/Tipp Central for PK-grade 1; renovate Nevin Coppock for grades 2-3; and renovate L.T. Ball for grades 4-5;

B1) Renovate Broadway/Tipp Central for PK-2; renovate and add to L.T. Ball for grades 3-5; and demolish Nevin Coppock;

B2) Build a new Broadway building for PK-2 with demolition of Broadway and Tipp Central; renovate and add to L.T. Ball for grades 3-5; and demolish Nevin Coppock;

C) L.T. Ball addition and renovation for PK-5 with demolition of Broadway, Tipp Central and Nevin Coppock.

Option B2 appeared to have the most support during the committee review, Stefanik said. The all-renovations plan (A) “did not have much energy” with the committee, he added.

Cost estimates have not been made. The 2019 project was a proposed $35.7 million. The facilities committee earlier heard a presentation on the all-renovations concept from local business Energy Optimizers.

Ruetschle had been asked to compare the 2019 proposal with the all-renovations concept but said that was not possible because more information, including a structural engineer’s report on Broadway Elementary’s condition, would be needed.

A timeline for any tax proposal to go before the public has not been set. However, Ruetschle said if a May 2023 bond issue would be contemplated by the board, a decision on plans and discussions with the Ohio Facilities Construction Commission about any funding assistance would need to be done by year’s end.

The cost of the 2019 project likely would be around $50 million in 2023, given inflation, Ruetschle said.

Contact this contributing writer at nancykburr@aol.com

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