Board trims expenses to meet income

BOTKINS — Botkins Board of Education members reviewed a detailed list of materials for building the new school and items and furnishings that will be housed in the building.

The report was detailed to the point of listing every staple, screw and other materials that will be used and their cost to the school district.

Botkins Board of Education President Jack Koenig  called for Tuesday’s special board meeting to for a detailed review of the list as the deadline for specifications approaches.

The estimate of the entire package is approximately $300,000 more than the amount school board members could spend, Superintendent Connie Schneider said. However, a meeting was held with engineers and Ohio School Facilities Commission (OSFC) officials and the groups were able to be whittle the list down to meet budget restraints.

“We were able to cut a lot of it in half,” Schneider said. “I like technology but there were a lot of extras we didn’t need when there isn’t enough money. We are in one building.”

While board members will approve a resolution at its next meeting pronouncing the $300,000 overage, Schneider said it is simply a formality.

“They (project officials) have assured me that we are on budget,” Schneider said. “They say we have made enough deductions to be under budget.”

Board members will attempt to save another $20,000 as they plan to approach village officials and ask for help with the cost of extending sewer lines to the building site. The current plans call for the school district to fund the project, but the $20,000 is part of the effort to cut down the $300,000 overage.

Details must be worked out before specifications can be finalized to put the project up for bid. Specifications are scheduled to be finalized by Dec. 1.

A timeline is beginning to take a clearer form as the process continues to build the new school. Bids are scheduled to be advertised Feb. 14 and will be awarded April 11. Groundbreaking for the new school would be April 13.

Construction of the school is expected to take approximately 18 months.

Board members discussed moving into the new building as the building will be completed in the middle of the 2014-2015 school year. With a late Thanksgiving in 2014 (Nov. 27), board members decided the likely choice will be to get an extended break beginning on Nov. 27 and ending after New Year’s Day with days being made up by trimming other holidays and possibly moving up the start of  or extending the end of the school year.

Botkins Local School District residents approved a 7.99-mill property tax levy on Nov. 8 to build a new school and provide money to maintain those facilities for a maximum of 35 years.

The bond levy raised the approximate $6.9 million local share of the $24.4 million total project.