Tipp City to discuss future of school buildings

Broadway Elementary School in Tipp City. CONTRIBUTED

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Broadway Elementary School in Tipp City. CONTRIBUTED

The future of the Broadway Elementary School property will get more attention in coming weeks as the Tipp City school board continues planning for a bond issue proposal for new classrooms.

Questions about the fate of the neighborhood property south of Main Street have been raised off and on for several years as the district looked at construction options.

The board now is focused on a proposal to build new prekindergarten through grade five classrooms in a building next to L.T. Ball Intermediate School off North Hyatt Street. The new building would replace both the Broadway school built in 1951 and the Nevin Coppock Elementary built in 1958, also located off North Hyatt Street.

“This raises some concerns and questions for community members, especially those who live near Broadway Elementary School,” said Gretta Kumpf, district superintendent.

A community committee is being formed to look at the future of the Broadway school property. Its first meeting is scheduled Tuesday, Jan. 8, in the Broadway school multi-purpose room at 6:30 p.m.

The board of education at a work session discussed what groups to invite in addition to the public. Suggested were representatives of the city, city council, the downtown partnership, Tipp Monroe Community Services and a developer.

“I think the biggest concern is that it (the property) not be allowed to deteriorate,” said Andy Venters, a board of education member who lives near the Broadway property.

Kumpf said school officials will share during the public meeting the district’s legal obligations and limitations about the property.

“We also want to hear residents’ concerns, gather ideas on repurposing the site and encourage neighbors to collaborate in order to achieve a positive resolution,” she said.

Board member Corine Doll said community members want to know what will happen with the property, adding the board will need to make clear it would have “limited influence” over the land’s future.

Money for demolition of both the Broadway building and the Nevin Coppock building has been included in proposed bond issues. A bond issue to construct a new prekindergarten through third grade building on the Broadway site was defeated soundly by voters in 2016.

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The board of education is expected to decide in early January whether to go before voters for a new construction bond issue for the building at the L.T. Ball site in May or November. The district is working with the Ohio Facilities Construction Commission on a project plan that would include a 35 percent state funding contribution.

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