About $1.1 million in capital improvements projects is in the plans for the Olentangy Local School District over the summer.

About $1.1 million in capital improvements projects is in the plans for the Olentangy Local School District over the summer.

Operations and facilities director Andy Kerr laid out proposed plans for paving, lighting installations and other projects at the school board's April 11 meeting.

The proposed budget is slightly less than in 2011. Last year, the district spent about $1.2 million for repaving, painting and other improvements. Unlike last year, when two schools were opened, the district has no major construction projects on the calendar for 2012.

Proposed paving and asphalt installation total $127,200.

The plan includes a new walking path connecting Shanahan Middle School with Olentangy High School to compensate for an increase in traffic along the driveway between the two schools that makes walking dangerous, Kerr said.

Renovations to the Shanahan Middle School cafeteria are planned to make room for an additional checkout line.

The existing layout lacks enough seating, and the crowded space makes it difficult for students to get through the line in time to eat their lunch, Kerr said.

After renovations, the cafeteria will have seating for 350 students, up from the current capacity of 288.

New lights will be installed outside Orange High School near the overflow parking area to help students navigate back to the main lot on dim mornings.

Flashing speed-limit signs also will be installed along Shanahan Road to get the attention of motorists as they pass by Shanahan elementary and middle schools.

"It's difficult trying to get people to slow down there, and we believe that flashing lights would have a big positive impact on that," Kerr said.

The district is seeking grants from the Ohio Department of Transportation to cover the signs.

Also in the proposal is a plan to move the Shanahan softball field away from the road.

A worn-out heating and cooling system also will be replaced at the district's OASIS alternative education center.

Upgrades to make buildings more energy-efficient, delayed last year, also are coming in the summer.

Kerr said the district is making more-detailed plans for future projects than ever before because some of its buildings are starting to show their age for the first time.

The new capital improvements report includes estimated budgets and proposed projects through 2016.

"From a planning perspective, it's time to start looking to the future," Kerr said.

Interim transportation director Bob Thompson also recommended that the board approve the purchase of nine school buses totaling roughly $80,600.

Thompson said the purchase would replace worn-out buses and enable the district to maintain a more reasonable number of buses in reserve – about 15 percent of the total fleet is the goal, he said.

Reserve buses are needed in case primary buses suffer a mechanical failure or are out on field trips.

The new buses would even out the district's bus replacement schedule, which, Thompson said, has been lopsided during some years.

The board is scheduled to vote on the issue during its meeting Thursday, April 26.