Concerns about seating in the new gym and proposed auditorium, and classroom needs for special education, were expressed to Pettisville School Board members, Monday night, Oct. 13.
The board held an informational meeting on the proposed school building project. Voters will decide whether or not to approve financing during the Nov. 4 general election.
If voters approve a property tax levy to repay a bond issue, the project moves forward.
The board’s regular meeting followed the informational meeting. Both meetings were held at the Tedrow Mennonite Church.
Most of the approximately 10 persons at the information meeting appeared to be in support of the project, although some expressed concern about additional costs.
There was a question about the need for an operating levy soon after construction.
John King, board president, said, "Operating levies are a fact of life, and one would be needed sometime in the future regardless of the building project."
New School Details
It is estimated that the new school will cost over $22 million, with approximately $17.5 million coming from funds the state of Ohio set aside from the tobacco settlement.
The board hopes to raise the remaining local share, $4.8 million, with a 28-year 7.86-mill bond levy. The 7.86-mill levy includes a half-mill (.5) that will be a continuing permanent improvements levy.
The proposed school will be constructed behind the current building, and most of the present building would be demolished once the new school is completed.
The school would retain and continue to use the 1994 addition, which includes the current varsity gym, library/media center, and office space.
A portion of the current elementary school would also be retained, although there are no plans at present to use those rooms for school classrooms. The space might be used for storage or made available for community use.
Board members said that the district is considering purchasing additional property south of Co. Rd. D that would be used for a retention pond and athletic fields that would be lost when the new building is constructed.
King also said that the new facility will be far more energyeffi cient than the present building, and that fact would help keep operating costs from rising.
After the informational meeting, board members met for their regular monthly session. The board approved the five-year projection prepared by Lee.
The projection shows the Pettisville School District in the black at least through the 2010 fiscal year.
The board also approved the $5.2 million appropriations resolution for the current fiscal year. That amount included nearly $4.6 million in general fund appropriations, with the largest expenses being personnel costs.
In personnel matters, the board approved hiring Shannon Borton for a position funded by federal grant money. Borton will serve as a "class size reduction" teacher in the third grade classrooms, co-teaching with Dawn Walsh and Jodi Crossgrove.
The board also approved hiring A.J. Genter as seventh grade basketball coach, and Scott Rupp as ninth grade basketball coach.
Two individuals were added to the district’s substitute list. Rick Green was approved as a substitute bus driver, and Don Colon was added as support staff substitute, serving in the custodial and maintenance area.
Steve Switzer, district superintendent, told the board that transportation costs will be higher this year due to some changes in the county.
Pettisville does not operate a preschool for special needs students. This year students from the district who need that service must be bussed to Fayette rather than Archbold.
Also, Pettisville needed to add a morning route to Wauseon to transport special needs students. The board approved hiring Lissa Lee to transport some students for a daily stipend plus mileage, since that would be more economical than adding another bus route.
Following the regular meeting, the board went into executive session for the purpose of negotiations concerning land acquisition. The private meeting lasted 24 minutes; no action followed the session.
The board will hold additional informational meetings for the school project on each Monday night between now and the Nov. 4 election. The remaining public meetings will be held at the school.
The next regular board meeting is scheduled for Monday, Nov. 3. The informational meeting starts at 7 pm; the regular board meeting follows.- D.J. Neuenschwander