By Dustin Ensinger
The price tag to renovate and make additions to all three Buckeye Valley Local School District elementary buildings rose to $26 million, based on the latest estimates provided by OHM Advisors.
The $2 million increase is due almost solely to the planned additions at each building, including two classrooms at West Elementary and office space at North Elementary and East Elementary.
The need for additional office space at East Elementary and North Elementary is due to safety concerns, according to Superintendent Andy Miller.
“It will help increase security and safety because we’ll have one access point to the building,” he said.
Additional office space was not needed at West Elementary because it already has just one access point.
The West additions, which will add 1,800-square feet of additional classroom space, will cost $522,500. Overall, the additions will increase the building’s size by 2,090-square-feet.
The North Elementary and East Elementary additions are set to cost $887,040 each and add 3,548-square-feet onto the buildings.
Overall, the additions are set to cost a combined amount of $2.3 million, in addition to the $24 million it is estimated to cost to renovate the three buildings.
“With this package we feel like we can increase the safety and security for our students,” Miller said.
The additions will also allow the district to discontinue to the use of portable classrooms, and move 5th graders from the middle school back to elementary buildings.
The improvements, however, will all be predicated on the approval of a $26.5 million on bond issue on Nov. 4.
The bond issue is also $3 million less than a similar measure that failed in 2012 and would have paved the way for one centralized elementary building near the high school and middle school. It is also less expensive than estimates to build three new elementary buildings in the district.
The district has built a new middle school and made millions of dollars worth of renovations to the high school facility since 2002. But its elementary facilities – the newest built in 1937 – have not had major upgrades in decades.
The district’s success at the ballot box has been rare. Since 1990, the district has failed to pass three property tax levies, an income tax increase and 11 bond issues.
Miller has hope that this time will be different.
“I’m hearing some positive things out in the community,” he said.
Dustin Ensinger can be reached at 740-413-0902 or on Twitter @EnsingerDG.