Troy schools considering new school building options

The Troy City Schools again are taking steps toward a possible proposal to build new schools in the community. JIM NOELKER/STAFF
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The Troy City Schools again are taking steps toward a possible proposal to build new schools in the community. JIM NOELKER/STAFF

TROY — The Troy City Schools again are taking steps toward a possible proposal to build new schools in the community.

The Board of Education voted Thursday to issue its intention to participate in the Ohio Facilities Construction Commission Expedited Local Partnership Program for possible state assistance for classrooms. The board’s resolution states the district intends to move forward with a ballot issue or apply other local resources as early as May 2022.

Board President Tom Kleptz said by its vote the board is asking OFCC “to start the ball and see where we stand.” OFCC approval would give the district an idea of when state funding would be available, he said. It also will allow OFCC to update enrollment projections along with the cost figures for the district’s building master plan, said Treasurer Jeff Price.

District voters in spring 2020 defeated by a 60 percent to 40 percent vote a bond issue to raise $98 million to build three new elementary schools for grades prekindergarten through four and one school for grades five and six. That proposal sought approval to issue bonds to build the four new schools to replace seven existing schools, two that are more than 100 years old.

The district also was working with OFCC for $31.8 million in reimbursement from the state for its share of that project.

A specific project has not been identified for the next proposal, but school officials said the master plan concept for the number of new buildings would be the same with construction possibly in phases. In notes to the board earlier this month, Superintendent Chris Piper said the first project could be the grades five-six building, which was proposed for the Hook Elementary School site in the Westbrook subdivision.

The district should know by September if the district qualifies for the ELPP.

“This is just saying, ‘Let’s see where we stand right now,” Kleptz said.

“It basically puts us in line,” said board member Doug Trostle.

Trostle said the district won’t get any state money until it has local funds and approval to build.

Kleptz said the failure of the bond issue in early 2020 may not have been bad. He pointed to an OFCC’s representative statement during it recent meeting that it raised its price calculations by 20 percent with the change in the construction materials costs in the past year.

“If we had passed the last time and been quoting and bidding right now, we would probably be in a lot of trouble due to the cost increases of everything,” Kleptz said.

Contact this contributing writer at nancykburr@aol.com.