An initial findings report presented May 29 by the Grandview Heights City School District's financial advisory committee estimates a total cost of $55.25 million for a project to replace or renovate the district's buildings.

The 14-member committee was asked to review the facilities plan recommended last fall by Superintendent Andy Culp and determine seven outcomes regarding funding, phasing and scope of the plan.

Committee members Jack Kukura and Katie Matney presented an overview of the group's report at a community engagement meeting held May 29 in the Grandview Heights High School auditorium.

The district plans to place a facilities bond issue on the November 2018 ballot. The committee recommended the facilities project include only essential repairs at Stevenson Elementary School, including school security upgrades and Americans with Disabilities Act compliance requirements.

The proposed project also would include construction of a new grade 4-8 building to replace Edison Intermediate/Larson Middle School and substantial renovations at the high school.

The committee also recommended the project include a connector between the new 4-8 building and the high school. This structure could provide additional classroom space if needed and would also serve as a evacuation space in case of a tornado.

There would be no need for the district to use modules to house students during the construction project, which the committee estimates would take about four years to complete in three phases.

The first phase would include the demolition of the Edison gym and commons area and construction of the new 4-8 building in the space between the high school gym and the current Edison/Larson school.

The high school, Stevenson and the academic portions of Edison/Larson and the annex building would remain in use during this phase, which would run from June 2019 to May 2021.

During the second phase, high school students would move into the new 4-8 building during summer 2021. The high school renovation project would be completed between June 2021 and November 2022.

Stevenson Elementary School renovations would take place during the summer months of 2021 and 2022. The academic portion of Edison/Larson and the annex would continue to be used.

High school students would move back into the renovated high school, and intermediate and middle school students would move into the new building when the third phase begins in December 2022.

The old Edison/Larson building and annex would be demolished in January 2023 and other site improvements would be completed between January and July 2023.

The space now occupied by the Edison/Larson building and annex would be used for parking and green space, Kukura said.

Committee members also recommended the district include a 1-mill operating levy as part of this year's ballot measure. The operating millage would be expected to keep the district financially solvent for four years.

The total millage for the ballot measure would be 6.84 mills. The committee is recommending a 38-year bond for the facilities work.

The committee estimated the operating levy would cost residents an additional $239 annually for each $100,000 of assessed property valuation.

The committee's full report can be viewed at http://link.ghcsd.org/fac.

Residents can give their feedback by taking an online survey at http://link.ghcsd.org/survey. The survey will be open through June 14.

The public's feedback "will be inseparable from my being able to formulate and present a final recommendation at the June 27 board of education meeting," Culp said.

The committee's initial recommendations were just that -- preliminary -- and portions of the facilities plan could be revised before the final recommendation is made, he said.

The board is expected to vote on accepting a ballot measure to place on the November ballot at its June 27 meeting, Culp said.

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