The Grandview Heights City School District's financial-advisory committee, a community-led group, is composed of individuals with financial, management and leadership backgrounds who are residents of the city of Grandview Heights or the village of Marble Cliff.
We were charged with making a recommendation to Superintendent Andy Culp regarding the funding and phasing of the district's facilities plan and day-to-day operating needs. Our goal was to take into account both the short- and long-term fiscal health of the district and ensure that the voice of the community was heard as important decisions needed to be made.
We were all volunteers in this process, with members providing their time, talents and expertise. We were thorough and comprehensive in our approach. We researched and asked tough questions for months until we arrived at recommendations related to seven outcomes that address the challenges we face with our facilities in a fiscally sound manner.
Our committee isn't recommending extravagant extras. We approached this project with the entire community in mind. We are suggesting that the district protect the excellent education that exists while also bringing outdated facilities up to modern learning and safety standards.
We recommend that the schools be updated, but with updates that make sense. We want high-quality structures and finishes that will last longer and cost less in the long term. We want to make sure there is enough space for all students as our enrollment continues to increase.
We want to make sure that our new schools are equipped with security features that will help keep our students safe and are ADA-compliant. While these changes are needed to our school buildings, the overall plan also must be in the best interest of all residents and taxpayers.
The plan we presented -- a $55 million plan to replace Edison Intermediate/Larson Middle School, extensively update Grandview High School and provide some renovations to Stevenson Elementary School -- is in the best interest of our schools and community for the short- and long-term financial health of our district.
This was not an easy process, but it was a necessary process.
After reviewing all of the information and looking at all the options, we know this is an important step for our community.
In addition to the tremendous amount of input the community already has provided, the district wants to continue to receive even more feedback from residents. This issue impacts all our residents and we need to hear all voices on this matter.
On behalf of the financial-advisory committee, we thank the district for its tremendous leadership and for inviting us to be part of the decision-making process and taking our input seriously.
Jack Kukura and Katie Matney are members of the Grandview Heights City School District's financial-advisory committee.