After a series of community forums throughout the Clear Fork Local School District, one thing remains clear, there is not yet a definitive solution to the district’s elementary construction debate.
While some residents and officials have their favorite option in mind, each of the three solutions presented to the public holds a series of pros and cons that the school board must carefully consider before making their decision.
What is clear in the Clear Fork Valley is that there are three distinct options for new elementary facilities vary in both construction and operational costs.
Josh Predovich, project manager from the architectural design firm SHP Leading Design, presented the costs and specifics for each of the building options available for Clear Fork to those in attendance.
The first in the series of three choices outlined by Predovich would construct one new elementary school building on a one of four sites throughout the district.
“The one elementary school would house the 774 elementary students in the district,” he said during the Oct. 21 public meeting. “With that option we would do no new work at the high school or middle school.”
The project would cost about $21.1 million to complete.
To fund the project Clear Fork Local School District would rely on 61 percent of each project’s funding coming from Ohio Facilities Construction Commission (OFCC), the other 31 percent would be locally funded.
“When you talk about percentages you have to understand what that percentage means dollar wise,” Clear Fork Superintendent Janice Wyckoff said during the Oct. 21 public meeting. “That is 61 cents out of every dollar coming from the state for basic construction costs and 39 cents out of every dollar is coming locally.”
The OFCC is the state commission responsible for spearheading construction projects among Ohio’s various agencies and public education facilities. The commission has worked with SHP Leading Design on previous projects throughout the state.
“We specialize in school construction and design,” said Pedrovich. “We have done over $ 3 billion in design over the past 10 years.”
The second of the design’s firm options is to build two new facilities in both Bellville in Butler in consistent fashion with the current Clear Fork elementary system.
“We would split the elementary students in the district down the middle,” Pedrovich said. “That would put about 387 students in Bellville Elementary and 387 students in Butler.”
The option would cost nearly $26 million and no new work would be done at the high school or middle school.
The third choice calls for construction of a new high school for grades 9-12. If the district chooses this option, middle and elementary school students would be relocated to the current Clear Fork High School. The project would cost roughly $40 million.
District residents will decide in March whether or not to extend their current tax levy, which will cover the school district’s potion of construction cost.
Josh Predovich, project manager from the architectural design firm SHP Leading Design, presented the costs for each of the building options available for Clear Fork to those in attendance.
Reach Jones on Twitter @Bellville_Jones or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org