The recommendations of a performance audit issued by the Ohio Auditor's Office in 2010 have led the South-Western City School District to cut expenses by at least $3.2 million a year, school officials said.

The recommendations of a performance audit issued by the Ohio Auditor's Office in 2010 have led the South-Western City School District to cut expenses by at least $3.2 million a year, school officials said.

The audit made 28 recommendations, and the school board on Jan. 23 was told the district has two left to address.

While most of the audit's points dealt with cutting costs, it also recommended spending $700,000 annually for five years to fund a technology replacement schedule.

SWCS communications director Sandy Nekoloff told board members the district is waiting to see if Issue 8 passes before completing the technology recommendation. Issue 8, a 38-year, $148-million bond issue, at 2.9 mills, is designed to raise money to qualify the district for participation in an Ohio School Facilities Commission project.

Nekoloff also said the district still needs to finish a strategic plan, which officials expect to be completed by the beginning of the next school year.

In 2010, Superintendent Bill Wise said most performance audit recommendations would be finished in 2011.

The district shifted more health care costs to employees, which reduced costs by more than $2 million a year and led the nonteaching employees union to call the audit "biased and unfair."

Other cost-cutting moves included reducing the custodial staff by 15.5 positions, eliminating nine buses and maximizing bus routes, developing a formal bus replacement plan, developing a strategic plan for food services operations and supplementing the comprehensive annual financial report with a less-detailed financial report.

Nekoloff said more recently completed recommendations include a custodial handbook, a student technical support program and the district's disaster recovery plan.

"Within 18 months of the performance audit being announced, we had met the bulk of the recommendations within the performance audit," Nekoloff said.

The audit's recommendations regarding collective bargaining were estimated to save the district $3,248,000 annually. While he was unable to provide the board with a figure, finance director Hugh Garside said the district's savings exceeded that number.

If Issue 8 passes, SWCS would replace Franklin Heights High School, build 13 new elementary schools and make minor renovations to Buckeye Woods and Darby Woods elementary schools.

The money that would have gone toward updating the old buildings would then be able to be used to update technology at other schools within the district, one of the actions called for in the performance audit.