BOE discusses facility design options

Bond issue to be on November ballot

TIPP CITY — At their meeting Monday, the Tipp City school board discussed facility design options for the district’s next bond issue in November.

In May, a $35.75 million, 27 year bond issue that would add new classrooms to L.T. Ball Elementary was rejected by the voters.

The board discussed whether or not to move forward with the same plan, which would now cost about $44 million in part due to new project requirements, and revisited an earlier plan to build a new elementary on the Broadway site. That plan was voted down in 2016.

Superintendent Gretta Kumpf and architect Mike Ruetschle presented the board with three options: the first option is the same plan put before voters earlier this year, the second a scaled back version of the first at a cost of $37 million, and the third option is the 2016 plan to build new at the Broadway location at a cost of $39.9 million.

Option two would keep the two story addition of option one, but would reduce the amount of new classroom space built by about 20,000 square feet, Kumpf said. Option three would require the district to spend about $1 million on modular units to house Broadway students during demolition and construction.

Board member Joellen Heatherly said she would prefer to stick with option one, which she called a “sound plan,” adding that staff and students deserve better than the “scrimping” proposed in the other two options.

She pointed out that the millage rate estimated for option one would be 5.79 mills for 30 years, saying it is a slight increase from the 5.4 mills over a period of 27 years proposed in May.

While he said he struggled with option two, board member Sam Spano said he also struggled with the increase in costs for option one from May. He added that he is leaning toward the third option.

“We know there’s a need, the community knows there’s a need,” Spano said.

The board will hold a special meeting at 6 p.m. Aug. 5 and another at 8 a.m. Aug. 7. The next regular meeting will take place at 6 p.m. on Aug. 26.

The board also approved the hiring of Chris Zink as the new high school principal following Principal Steve Verhoff’s appointment as assistant superintendent. Zink joined the district as the assistant high school principal last year.

“I look at this opportunity as both an honor and a privilege,” he said. “We’re going to continue to build on the positives that we have moving forward. So rigor, relevance and relationships are going to be our focus.”

Bond issue to be on November ballot