Genoa: School board starts process for new high school

By: 
Larry Limpf

News Editor
news@presspublications.com

The Genoa school district will be submitting an application to participate in the Ohio Facilities Construction Commission expedited local partnership program – a preliminary step in the process of securing state financing for a new high school building.
The school board Tuesday authorized the administration to submit an application to the OFCC.
Under the expedited program, the OFCC will review the district’s enrollment trends, buildings, and other criteria. That data will be utilized by Buehrer Group Architecture & Engineering, Inc., to determine an approximate square footage figure for a new building
The Buehrer Group has designed other buildings on the Genoa campus, Bill Nye, district treasurer, said.
“What we’re trying to accomplish is to just get our ducks in a row,” he said.
A bond issue that is funding the construction of the district’s middle school is scheduled to be retired in December, 2027.
The board is considering an option to place a bond levy on the ballot for a new high school when the middle school bond expires.
“It takes quite a while to get all this in place,” Nye said. “The application process is slow and we want to get everything in order so when it does come time we can communicate with the community about the possibilities of a new high school.
“We are about 245th in line on the OFCC’s list. However, since we did what is called segmenting of our district buildings – the middle school and elementary school were done through the OFCC – we are actually ranked in the top 20 on the list of segmented projects.”
Under the expedited local partnership program, district’s typically attempt to pass bond issues that generate revenues sufficient to cover the entire cost of building construction. If they’re successful, the OFCC reimburses the district its share of state funding once their number reaches the top of the funding list. In Genoa’s situation, the reimbursement would be 58 percent of the costs, Nye said. This would equate to the same way the middle school was funded when it was built.
In other business, the board heard a report from Nye about renewing a substitute emergency levy, but the resolution will need to be re-introduced in May because only three members of the board attended the meeting. The approval of the resolution is required by two-thirds of the board, or at least four members.
Nye said the board plans on placing the renewal request on the November ballot.
The levy, if passed, will generate approximately $1.2 million annually and will be a continuing levy.
It was originally passed in 2015 and is used for operating costs.

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