By Joyell Nevins
January 15, 2014
For the Troy Daily News
BETHEL TOWNSHIP — The Bethel Board of Education voted Monday night to place a 7.94 mill levy on the ballot this spring and to begin the process of hiring a construction manager.
Last Wednesday, the board of education met to discuss the amount needed to make the project successful and decided on 7.94 mills. On Monday, the board approved putting that levy on the ballot in May.
A 7.94 mill levy would generate about $22 million, which would cost the owner of a $100,000 home about $245 per year or 67 cents a day. The interest rate for the project is 4.875 percent.
The district has been working with Ruetschle Architects to develop a plan for the project, which has been the subject of several public meetings. That plan can be seen on the district’s website, www.bethel.k12.oh.us, under the “Facility Plan” tab.
The next step, according to Superintendent Larry Smith, is to begin advertising for bids for a construction manager.
The plan includes renovating the existing building and constructing a new high school wing, kitchen, cafeteria, and stadium. The district also aims to solve traffic problems by widening 201, constructing a ring road around the property, and adding a large parking lot behind the school.
Adding a new high school wing will free up more space in the existing building, allowing the elementary school to take over the 1917 building and eliminating the need for the modular units currently in use.
The major issues in the original building, which is nearly 100 years old, include a lack of air conditioning, unreliable electricity, as well as limited classroom space, restrooms, and wheelchair accessibility.
The district will be making some repairs and improvements using permanent improvement levy money, Smith said. Some repairs will be made over spring break.
“This is separate from the levy campaign,” Smith said. “We’re doing everything we can with those permanent improvement dollars to make sure we defray the costs of a lot of those things before we get to the bond issue.”
Some of these repairs and improvements include painting, updates to technology, electricity, and restrooms, roof and ceiling repairs and window air conditioning units.