Preliminary plans for Botkins school unveiled

BOTKINS – Fanning/Howey and Associates Project Manager Randy Sprunger gave a brief update Wednesday on the new Botkins Local Schools project.

“We are on schedule as far as time is concerned,” Sprunger said during the Botkins Local School District Board of Education meeting. “We will be talking with the construction management firm to keep the process going.”

Sprunger showed a brief Powerpoint presentation showing some preliminary drawings of both the inside and the outside of the school, with some of the drawings focusing on some details of the aesthetics of the hallways, classrooms and offices. The crowd of approximately 20 people asked questions and made suggestions to color schemes, design and space use as they viewed the pictures.

Sprunger said after the project is bid, changes will be made according to bid price.

“In the past, sometimes bids have come in lower,” Sprunger said. “If bids come in lower than estimates, we can make other changes.”

Board President Jack Koenig said the purchase of property at the controversial Belle Center Drive trailer park site had been completed and board members now awaited the deed.

The trailer park had been one of the main areas of resistance against passage of the school bond levy to build the new school, which voters approved by a 606-512 margin in November. Renters in the park felt the land, which was bought to provide an access point to the new school building, was not needed and caused several people to lose their homes in what they defined as a tight-knit community among its residents.

Koenig said only a few residents remained in the trailer park. A letter sent to the residents at the park indicated they were to moved by Sept. 1.

An estimate for demolition of the property was given at about $7,500. Board members discussed minor details such as moving utility lines and removal of concrete pads for the trailers that were not discussed in the contract with Rick Steinke, owner of the property.

The bond levy will raise the approximate $6.9 million local share of the $24.4 million total project to build the school. The school district was offered at a rate where the local portion will be 25 percent of the total project plus locally funded initiatives. The rate offered was the lowest offered to a school district by the OSFC this year. Figuring in the locally funded initiatives, district voters are paying about 28 percent of the total project. School district residents will pay approximately $280 per $100,000 of business property and $250 per $100,000 of residential property.

In other business, board member:

•    Approved kindergarten bus routes for the 2012-2013 school year.

•    Issued a resolution of commendation for the FCCLA Chapter Showcase Manual Junior for earning a gold rating at the national convention.

•    Approved hirings of substitute teachers and various supplemental personnel.

•    Hired Kristin Ruppert as a special education aide at $11.75 an hour.

• Hired various personnel as substitute bus drivers.

• Established a tuition rate of $4,163.11 for the new school year.

• Approved season prices of $70 per adult and $35 per student for athletic season tickets.

• Approved a rental agreement with the ESC for rental of a romm for $4,500 for the 2012-13 school year.

• Accepted two donations of $185 and $150 for scholarships.