Upper Arlington News

District capital improvements

$1.5 million worth of work on summer calendar


The Upper Arlington school district will spend approximately $1.5 million on capital improvement projects this summer, according to Chris Potts, executive director of business.

Work began June 13 to install a new turf field at the Upper Arlington High School stadium. Potts said the $366,021 project should be completed by July 31.

He said the current turf was installed with privately raised funds in 2002.

"The lifespan of that field was eight years, but we were able to stretch it three additional years," he said.

The completion date of the project corresponds with the Ohio High School Athletic Association start dates for fall practice, he said.

"The contract was purposely done this way so our fall sports teams would not miss any practice time on the field," Potts said.

Portions of the roofs on three buildings also will be replaced this summer. A roof renovation at Barrington will cost $90,115. Greenview's roof project will cost $294,300 and the roof replacement at Upper Arlington High School will cost $214,750.

Two buildings, Hastings and Jones middle schools, will get new cooling units or "chillers" this summer, at a cost of $152,600 and $195,000 respectively.

The district is also accepting bid proposals for renovations at the maintenance building at 2020 Builder's Place. The project involves remodeling two existing restrooms and existing office space to include a new break area and two new restrooms. It will also include new lighting, heating and minor plumbing renovations in the existing warehouse space.

School board members approved the purchase of the building on Builder's Place for $1,230,000 in April 2012, contingent on the successful auction of the old maintenance building at 925 Burrell Ave. in Grandview Heights. That building brought in $1,408,000 at auction.

"We closed on the Builder's Place building at the end of March and officially left Burrell on April 30," Potts said. "Nationwide Realty now owns the Burrell building.

"Builder's Place is being used for our operations department office and warehouse," he said. "The 6.2 acres will give the district much flexibility in the future to determine use of the space and building. We anticipate both our tech department and curriculum team will occupy much of the office space in the future."

Potts said the building has 19,000 square feet of warehouse space and more than 10,000 square feet of office space, along with secured outdoor storage.

The capital improvements taking place this summer are made possible because of a permanent improvement levy that voters approved in 2007, Potts said.

Voters approved a 6.2-mill combined operating and permanent improvement levy that year, with 2.2 mills approved for permanent improvement funds.

Potts said Ohio law dictates that capital improvement money may only be used on improvements that have a lifespan of at least five years. It cannot be used for school operating expenses, salaries or programs.

He said the continuing levy provides approximately $3 million per year for building and campus improvements, transportation operation and vehicle replacements, technology upgrades and textbook replacements.

The district also collects about $100,000 in revenue per year from two cell towers at Jones Middle School and the high school, which may also be used for capital improvements.

"Maintaining our aging buildings and grounds throughout our district is very important," Potts said.

He said the average age of the district's buildings is 57 years old.