Tipp BOE to vote on construction plans

By Matt Clevenger

For Miami Valley Today

TIPP CITY — The Tipp City Board of Education will hold a special meeting at 8 am Wednesday, Aug. 7 to make a final decision between two very different plans for the construction of new classroom space.

After a series of meetings discussing the district’s options, board members have narrowed six original construction plans down to just two remaining choices. “Option A” would call for additions and renovations to L.T. Ball Middle School, making that building Pre-K through fifth grade, as well as the eventual demolition of Broadway Elementary School, Tipp Central and Nevin Coppock. “Option A” also calls for improvements to the district’s site on Hyatt Street and the construction of a new bus garage and tennis courts.

“Option A” would be locally-funded, with the district’s costs totaling approximately $43.93 million. The plan would create approximately 94,043 square feet of additional classroom space.

“Option F,” the other option still being considered by board members, also calls for additions and renovations to L.T. Ball Middle School, but would make that building Pre-K through second grade. Third through sixth graders would go to the middle school, and seventh through 12 graders would attend Tippecanoe High School.

“Option F” also calls for the demolition of Broadway Elementary School, Tipp Central and Nevin Coppock, as well as renovations at the middle school and Tippecanoe High School. “Option F” would create approximately 24,181 square feet of additional space, and would involve approximately $15.48 million in state funding through the Ohio Facilities Construction Commission (OFCC), with the remaining local share totaling approximately $41.63 million.

“We need new buildings,” board member Corine Doll said during a special meeting held on Monday, Aug. 5. “Our buildings need to be addressed; they are not good learning environments.”

“Does the community have to take the OFCC money?” board vice-president Joellen Heatherly said. “They need to know what the asterisk is behind that, which is our seventh and eighth graders are going to have to go to the high school if we’re going to go with state money.”

Board members will make a final decision between the two plans at their meeting on Wednesday.

“We need to find the right plan and stick to it,” board member Theresa Dunaway said.

“This is weighing so heavy on my heart,” Doll said, “that we’re sending students and teachers again back into these buildings without having moved a step forward to help them in any way.”

In other business, board members also approved the hiring of new high school assistant principal Leslie Christofano, as well as high school theater and drama teacher Candice Jasinski and middle school social studies teacher Sean Ford.

Board members also approved a resolution regarding two different levies, taking the first steps towards requesting a new 6.39-mil permanent improvement levy and renewing a 4.95-mil emergency levy passed in 2015. The renewal emergency levy and the permanent improvement levy could be placed before voters on the ballot in November.