A resolution approved Monday by the Eastwood school board to apply for active planning status with the Ohio School Facilities Commission is a procedural necessity to maintain the district’s eligibility for state funding, Brent Welker, district superintendent said.
However, the resolution doesn’t reflect the intent of the board or administration to proceed with a construction project, he said.
He said the resolution asked the OFCC to re-evaluate Eastwood’s facilities and hold the district’s place in line should it decide to pursue an option that would be eligible for state funding.
“Since we are talking about looking to improve our facilities, we need to keep all of our options open as far as funding is concerned,” he said. “There will be some who look at this and think that we have already made up our minds. That is not the case.”
The OSFC and state architect’s office were merged last year into the Ohio Facilities Construction Commission – an entity responsible for overseeing school construction projects that receive state funding.
Eastwood voters in 2009 rejected a 2.64-mill, 38-year bond levy and an 0.75-mill permanent improvement levy that would have funded the local share of construction and maintenance costs for a new elementary school building on the central campus. The school would have housed kindergarten through the fifth grade.
The district was eligible for $8.5 million from the OSFC for the project and the bond issue would have generated about $10.24 million.
Welker last week said the board and administration have decided to postpone a town hall forum planned for Sept. 18 to discuss building improvements.
After a meeting with a local facilities task force and business advisory council, school officials agreed to delay the forum until they had a clearer idea of what would be financially viable for the district.
Welker said he didn’t expect a forum to be rescheduled until mid October.
A phone survey of district residents is also being rescheduled for after the forum.
The forum will be held to present various options for building improvements to the public.
“When the phone survey is conducted they can then offer an informed response,” Welker said. “The last thing we want is have someone say they would have responded differently if they had more information.”
The district will also post information on its website and in flyers to residents about the options under consideration, he added.
In November, voters in the district will decide a 2-mill, 5-year renewal of a permanent improvement levy.