Buildings focus of Troy schools meetings

Troy’s Van Cleve School is more than 100 years old. CONTRIBUTED
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Troy’s Van Cleve School is more than 100 years old. CONTRIBUTED

The Troy City Schools in mid-March will begin a long talked about discussion with the public on the future of its school buildings.

The district already held discussions last August with an educational visioning team of about 35 members who talked about what would be needed as far as interiors/space of future educational facilities.

Superintendent Eric Herman and Treasurer Jeff Price also met with staff at all buildings about the district’s financial position, its facilities and the upcoming look at facilities.

A similar presentation was made to the board at a January discussion during which board members heard that with finances available a phased program would be needed, most likely beginning with the six elementary buildings. Those buildings range in age from 50 to 97 years while the sixth grade building — Van Cleve, built as the high school — is more than 100. The high school is 58 years old and the junior high is 44.

The district also has been talking with the Ohio School Facilities Commission about a funding partnership. At this time, the state share would be 33 percent; the district’s 67 percent.

Price said if the partnership moved forward and the district used up to its debt limit, there would be around $65 million for a potential project. The millage, assuming a 30-year payback with an average 5 percent interest, would be around 5 mills including the state required maintenance millage over 23 years.

The next step is three planned meetings with a group of community members beginning March 20, followed by meetings April 4 and May 9.

“The bottom line is we don’t have a preconceived notion of what we want to do. We want to take this to the public to see what they want to do. It could come back we are not interested in doing anything, we want to just remodel, it could be ‘hey let’s build,’ ” Herman said. “But the one variation I think we need to agree upon is that no matter what happens, we have to do something about our capital improvement levy.”

That levy today brings in $685,000 a year. A review of district facilities and needs for electrical, plumbing and HVAC conducted last year included a price tag of more than $50 million alone to upgrade those systems in all district buildings.

If a ballot issue were sought in November, the board would need to have a request to the board of elections by early August.

For more information on OSFC construction program, go online to: http://ofcc.ohio.gov/Resources/FrequentlyAskedQuestions/FAQsK-12Schools/tabid/413/faqid/52/Default.aspx

Contact this contributing writer at nancykburr@aol.com.

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