And then there were three.

Grandview Heights City School District Superintendent Andy Culp last week presented a winnowed list of three potential options for addressing the district's $44 million in deferred maintenance and capital improvements at its three school buildings.

Culp made the presentation June 8 during the district's second community engagement meeting, part of its facilities planning process.

At a May 1 meeting, Culp presented three core options, each with at least one suboption, making up seven potential plans.

The feedback received following that meeting directly impacted the reduced set of options still on the table, Culp said.

The eliminated options included proposals to create a new 4-12 campus while renovating Stevenson Elementary School; two plans to build a new K-12 campus, one less expensive than the other; and renovating the high school while building a new K-8 campus.

Remaining are two options that involve renovating the existing K-12 facilities and a third proposal that would see upgrades for Stevenson and Grandview Heights High School while constructing a new building for grades 4-8 to replace Edison Intermediate/ Larson Middle School, which would be demolished.

In detail, those options are:

* Moderately renovate all three buildings at an estimated cost of $30 million to $35 million.

This plan is projected as the least expensive of the three remaining options and would not address about $20 million in deferred maintenance, Culp said.

* Extensively renovate the existing schools at an estimated cost of $50 million to $55 million.

This option is calculated as the most expensive of those that remain.

"It would address the full load of deferred maintenance," Culp said.

* Renovate the elementary school and high school and build a new 4-8 school on the current Edison/Larson site.

The cost of this option is estimated at between $45 million and $50 million.

'Right-sizing' Edison?

The existing Edison/Larson building is about 120,000 square feet, but based on state standards for educational space, a new school would need to be only about 65,000 square feet, said Gary Sebach, director of architectural design with OHM Advisors, a consulting firm assisting the district with the facilities process.

"We can 'right-size' it and make it much more efficient for education," Sebach said. "There's a lot of inefficiency in the middle school building because it's been added on so many times."

The results of the community survey indicate that "we seem to have a consensus about the repair and renovation of Stevenson and the high school," Culp said.

"It is important to our community, staff and students that we keep Stevenson Elementary where it is," he said. "The high school's Third Avenue facade and its 890-seat auditorium are also very important (to them.)

"What is unclear is what we are going to do with the 4-8 building and students," Culp said.

He said 535 people responded to the community survey.

The district again is gathering feedback via a new survey available at tinyurl.com/facilitiesfeedback.

The survey will be open through June 30.

Another revision of the potential options will be presented at the third community engagement meeting, scheduled for 6:30 p.m. Aug. 3 in the middle school commons.

Feedback from the community, staff and students will shape the final recommendation Culp will announce during the Sept. 19 school board meeting, he said.

After the final recommendation is made, the district will create a financial advisory committee, which will conduct its work during the first three months of 2018, he said.

This group will be charged with reviewing issues such as how the recommended project could be funded, whether the project should be completed all at once or in phases, what transitional or swing space would be needed during a project, and what the exact cost of a bond issue or levy would be for property owners, Culp said.

The committee also would be asked to analyze and make a recommendation on the district's operating levy based on the five-year forecast and to review its permanent-improvement levy, he said.

One question to be explored is whether the district would place both a facilities measure and an operating levy on the same ballot, Culp said.

A final recommendation that addresses phasing, exact cost and transitional space would be made to the board in April 2018, with a final vote on a potential November 2018 ballot measure coming at the May 2018 board meeting, he said.

Athletes not left out

At the June 8 meeting, Culp also reviewed a potential options for addressing maintenance needs at the athletic facilities across the street from the high school.

Community survey results indicate more people favor a plan that would cost about $2 million over a $4 million athletic facility project or the option of doing nothing.

The $2 million option would include new locker rooms, renovations to the home bleachers and resurfacing and repairs for the track, he said.

The district has scheduled summer dates for tours of the district's buildings.

Tours will be offered Wednesday, June 21, at Grandview Heights High School; July 19 at Stevenson Elementary School; and Aug. 9 at Edison Intermediate/Larson Middle School.

The tours, led by Director of Facilities Brett Bradley, will begin in each building's offices at 10 a.m. and 2 p.m.

Residents may reserve their place by emailing brett.bradley@ghcsd.org with their requested date and time.

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