Saturday, October 22, 2011
Monday, October 17, 2011
By Marc Saluk, Darke County Economic Development Director
I’m often asked my opinion about the correlation between new school buildings and economic development because of my job. But, despite the title, I am no expert on the matter. Near as I can tell, no one is. It’s a tough correlation to make statistically because there are a large number of factors that define both quality schools and economic development.
However, that doesn’t mean that economic development directors don’t get a good insight into the matter. Why is this? Because it’s our job to speak regularly to those that run the nations’ industries. While it may not breakdown neatly into statistical formula, direct feedback from decision makers is an excellent indicator about an issue.
Based on this, I can definitively state that school buildings DO matter. At least in the minds’ of some very key people-- those that create jobs.
I know they matter because I speak all the time to plant managers’ who decided NOT to reside in Greenville because of the older school facilities. Why do so, they say, when virtually every other district in the region has a modern facility, equipped with the technology it now takes to prepare students for the world?
I know they matter because of the number of executives who have told me their spouse’s were not impressed by their initial drive-by of the district’s buildings. I know this because of the number of plant managers’ that tell me it’s tough to recruit young professionals because they are turned-off by the district’s older facilities.
These are not my opinions. These are the opinions of many who view the school district from the outside and make decisions that affect local employment. Agree with them or don’t. At the end of the day, their opinions do impact our community in a very real way.
If I had to guess, I would say their opinions are based on more than the buildings themselves. Speaking with them also seems to indicate that the lack of new buildings also speaks to the community’s pride. Again, this may be unfair but…well, you know what our parents always told us that life was…
What’s MY opinion? I’ll do something unusual here and quote myself because I think I summed up my thoughts pretty well in an article written by The Advocate several months ago. At the risk of being a bit self-indulgent, here I go…quoting me:
“It’s hard to directly and definitively correlate jobs and school buildings. However, there is little question about two things: job retention and growth is tied in part to local education and work force quality. And, the quality of that local education and work force is, in these days of increased technology in the classroom, tied in part to the existence of modern facilities for a school district.”
New resources for our children AND a better prospect of a good job for them in the future? To me, the combination makes a new school facility a tough thing to vote against this November
Monday, October 10, 2011
Saturday, October 8, 2011
From Rudy Quinter:
1. The new building is planned to be larger than the totals of the older, replaced buildings. This is due to several causes, primarily Ohio School Facility Commission (OSFC) requirements for room sizes for classrooms, labs, special education, art, music, media center, etc. Current classrooms are smaller than recommended and all others spaces are also undersized.
Additionally, we have planned an 1800sq. ft. performance stage off the cafeteria and 3 Physical Education(PE) gyms: a 3500 sq. ft. for little kids and wrestling, a 7300 sq. ft. gym for grades 3-5 and volleyball, and an 8700 sq. ft. gym for grades 6-8 PE and basketball.
A study hall is planned at 1800 sq. ft. which can also be used as a community room.
2. The exterior materials have not been selected yet, but we would anticipate a combination of mostly brick and split-faced block.
3. Utility costs for several of our recently completed schools are running under $1.00/ sq. ft, so yes we are comfortable with that projected cost.
4. Sidewalks along the street are not required by OSFC. If required by local codes or if desired by the school district, then we can use monies from the project budget to install them.
A question came up the other day about sidewalks on the opposite side of the street. Even if required by local regulations, we can not use project funds for that.
Only sidewalks on school property are fundable.
5. Project costs:
Total K-8 building costs $57,525,643
State share $18,192,750
Local share $39,332,893
HS renovation funds $5,667,107
Total bond issue amount $45,000,000
Friday, October 7, 2011
As Questions are emailed to us they will be posted on the main page and after a week will be reformatted and moved to he Q&A page. Check there first for any questions you may have.
Number of Classrooms:
Number of Students:
The other question that came up today was how many students would use the building and it is here: Projected Enrollment - 1,805 students
People were also asking today about conceptual drawings of the new building. Many are of the opinion that the committee is hiding something, and that is not the case. Traditionally, drawings of the building, classrooms and other areas are not drawn till the money is approved for the project. The site plan drawing is on this blog with an explanation. When you build a new house, the first thing that is done is to secure financing, then have plans drawn. This is no different.
Everyone should understand that this blog belongs to the Citizens Committee for Quality Greenville Schools. The committee is composed of your neighbors and want every bit of information available. That is so you can have it also. Right now it's all on here on one page or another.
Thanks for all of your questions and please send any more that you have.
Thursday, October 6, 2011
Many people have asked a lot of questions about the new school. We tried to answer all of them as best we could when they were asked but a couple took some research and/ number crunching but we have some new info now that should help answer those questions. Our Superintendent, Susie Reigle has met with the City of Greenville as well as the architects about the project recently and in particular about the concerns about the sidewalks, turn lanes, etc.
She issued this statement this morning on that: "The City of Greenville is working closely with Greenville City Schools and Garmann-Miller (architects for the proposed OSFC project) to determine the need for sidewalks and roadway alterations pending approval of the bond issue for the construction of a new K-8 facility on North Ohio Street. In a recent meeting, it was clarified by the architects that sidewalks and turn lanes are already included in the project costs that would be located on the school property. The results of a traffic impact study will determine the need for additional sidewalks off the school property." -Susie Riegle, Superintendent, Greenville City School District.
The other question that has been asked deals with the operational cost of the new building versus the current buildings. At the present time we pay for operational costs of East, South, Woodland Heights, Jr. High, Sr. High, Career Tech Center, Memorial Hall and the High School.
The total square footage that we now operate is 392,652.
The Original Cost to Operate All Building = $545,102.44.
Elimination of Woodland, East, South and the Jr. High brings the total existing square footage down to 173,615 sq. ft.
Memorial Hall right now with 45,000 sq. ft. costs $1.59 per sq ft to operate.
Greenville High School right now with 142,689 sq. ft. costs $1.25 per sq ft to operate.
Career Tech Center right now with 31,348 sq. ft. costs $.63 per sq ft to operate.
These figures show the difference in the age of the buildings and the construction techniques. The Career Tech building is the newest and cost the least to operate.
The proposed K-8 building with 254,778 sq. feet is projected to cost $1.00 per square foot to operate.
The operational cost savings over a five year period will be around $105,000. That is just an estimate. Many things in the new building can be.
Monday, October 3, 2011
Yard Signs: We have received the yard signs and they will be distributed after our meeting on October 6. This means they will be out in people's yards for one month before the election. We already have over 80 people who have requested a yard sign. If you would like to support the project with a yard sign, click on the box in the upper right hand corner of the blog and just send us an email requesting one. Make sure to include your name and address.
Walking Campaign: The publicity committee will be mounting a street by street campaign soon to get the message out and distribute information. If you are interested in more info or would like to help, send us an email.
Presentations: The committee has available a presentation for delivery to your group. It is a short presentation with time for questions. Again, send us an email with your information and we'll be in contact with you to set up a time for the presentation.