Botkins moves forward on new school

BOTKINS — Botkins school board members officially chose a dollar amount to ask from district voters to build approximately $23.3 million worth of new school facilities.
Botkins Schools Board of Education members will seek the issuance of bonds totaling $6.95 million to pay the 25 percent local share of the construction in November. That total also includes locally funded initiatives not paid for under the yet-to-be-signed official agreement with the Ohio Schools Facilities Commission (OSFC) and money for land acquisition costs.
Though the official amount of millage based on that amount has yet to be set, the millage to be certified by Shelby County officials will be approximately 7.99 mills. Also, voters will vote on an additional 0.5-mill for maintenance of the new
facilities. Based on those preliminary millage estimates, a property owner with property valued at $100,000 would pay approximately $280 per year, and an additional $18 per year for the maintenance costs. The tax will be collected for a period of 23 years.
After a lengthy executive session, board members also discussed the prospect of purchasing the land for the new school location and signed a preliminary verbal agreement with the Henry Hegemannn Trust.
The trust owns approximately 92 acres between Walnut Street and Botkins Community Park near Interstate 75, just east of the current school location. The estate is tied up in a tax shelter until September.
Board President Jack Koenig said while the official parameters of the land purchase have not yet been detailed in the contract, the preliminary agreement is allowing for the purchase of approximately 18.5 acres of land at the cost of approximately $20,000 per acre.
“We have been negotiating,” Koenig said. “The amounts will somewhat based on the numbers St. Marys used when they purchased the land for the new school project there.
At those preliminary numbers, the land purchase would cost the district about $370,000.
In other business, board members officially created a new position of an elementary principal and hired Gina Rogers for the position.
Previously, the school had operated with a K-12 principal before deciding to divide the position up. Rogers, of Kenton, had been a first- grade teacher in Kenton for the past 14 years.
“I wanted to get into administration,” Rogers said.
Rogers said she applied for the position because of the small town feeling in the close-knit community.
“My biggest challenge the first year will be getting to know everyone,” Rogers said. “It is a new position, so it will be new for all of us.”
Rogers was hired to the position officially half-time and also will serve half-time as a gifted student intervention specialist. Her salary for the combined positions will total $63,000 per year.
“With new standards and state mandates rolling out, we felt it was time to create the position to be able to maintain the academic standards that we currently have,” Superintendent Connie Schneider said of the move.
Rogers was signed to a two-year contract.
A hometown man was also hired as the new athletic director at the school.
Adam Fullenkamp was hired for the position and was signed to a one-year contract. He was hired by the board to a $35,787 one-year contract.
Fullenkamp had been working at Eaton Corporation in Van Wert.
“I am very excited about the position and coming back to my hometown,” Fullenkamp said.
Fullenkamp graduated from the school in 2005 and was a 2009 graduate of Defiance College with a bachelor’s degree in high school social studies.