In many ways, 2016 will be like any other year in the Grandview Heights City School District.

In many ways, 2016 will be like any other year in the Grandview Heights City School District.

The focus always will be on providing the best education possible to students while maintaining fiscal responsibility, Superintendent Andy Culp said.

With the school year nearly half complete, the district is concentrating on three objectives for the year, including enhancing a strategy of clear learning targets and addressing each student's personalized needs.

"We have a set of evidence and outcomes for each objective we want to accomplish by July 2016," Culp said.

But it's the third objective that may get the most attention in the community this year, and that involves the K-12 facility planning process that soon will get started.

A facilities task force was formed last year and has reviewed 11 proposals from individuals or firms interested in serving as the consultant for the upcoming effort to determine a plan for addressing the needs of the district's aging buildings, Culp said.

As 2015 was ending, negotiations were underway with the task force's recommended consultant, he said.

"We're hoping to be able to provide that recommendation to the school board for its approval in January," Culp said. "Once we get that person on board, the community outreach can begin."

The process will include meetings to gather feedback from parents, staff and students about each school building and the district's athletic facilities, he said.

"The feedback we hear during this process will determine the outcome and the options that are considered," Culp said. "It will be a transparent, honest and collaborative effort driven by the community. Ultimately, it will be the community that decides what we're going to do."

The question comes down to whether the district should simply look to maintain its buildings as they are or whether a major project is needed to improve the facilities, he said.

"There is a cost to 'doing nothing,' " Culp said. "A study of our facilities indicated just to maintain our buildings would cost between $600,000 and $1.2 million a year for the next 15 years."

The district's permanent-improvement fund provides about $550,000 each year, and about half of that is used for technology, he said.

"It's really going to be the community who guides us through the process," school board President Debbie Brannan said. "The community has to be able to support whatever we do about our facilities."

No timetable has been set for how long the process will take to reach a final recommendation, Culp said.

Another important issue for the school board this year will be negotiations for a new contract with the unions representing teachers and classified staff, Brannan said.

The talks likely will begin in the spring, she said.

Academically, the district will continue its effort to expand the number of Advanced Placement courses offered to students, Brannan said.

Another initiative is to increase the service-learning component at the high school, she said.

Later this year, the district will unveil a new logo and branding effort, Culp said.

"This is about providing an overview of the district's beliefs, mission and goals in a cohesive document that accurately captures the community's values," he said.

The logo will feature a Bobcat paw print and interlaced "GH" to serve as a single image rather than a current mix of logos that can differ from sport to sport, Culp said.