A financial advisory committee has begun meeting to help the Grandview Heights City School District parse the details of its proposed plan to repair or replace the district's buildings.
The 11-member committee will work over the next three months and is expected to present its recommendations to the school board in April.
Committee members are:
* Teri Alexander, president, Alexander Financial Planning
* Mike Curtin, retired vice chairman and chief operating officer, the Dispatch Printing Co., and former state representative
* Doug Daughters, director, C & I Sales -- IGS Energy
* Ricky Day, principal, Day Cos.
* Jack Kukura, chief investment officer, Ohio Capital Corporation for Housing
* Mike Leach, senior vice president of finance, Nationwide Insurance
* Mike Morosky, partner, Lazear Capital
* Steve Papineau, owner and chief executive officer, Shelby Management
* Clarence Simmons, president and chief executive officer, SIMCO Real Estate Development & Construction
* David Ward, vice president of finance and asset management, the Daimler Group
* Blake West, senior investment professional, Nationwide Insurance.
Among the committee's main tasks is to review the recommended facilities plan Superintendent Andy Culp presented in September and consider the scope and cost of the proposed work.
Culp recommended the district pursue a plan to renovate the high school and Stevenson Elementary School and to construct a new building for grades 4-8 on the site of Edison Intermediate/Larson Middle School.
The estimated cost of the project would be between $45 million and $50 million.
"We're asking them to do a financial analysis of the Sept. 19 recommendation about whether it's in the best interest of the short- and long-term fiscal health of the school district and the Grandview/Marble Cliff community," Culp said.
"We have invited some outstanding representatives from our community in the fields of finance and business, individuals with proven leadership skills, to complete this analysis for us," he said.
The group is not "a rubber-stamp committee," Culp said.
Culp and Treasurer Beth Collier are facilitating the group's meetings and school board members Jesse Truett and Eric Bode, who served on the district's facilities task force, will attend each session.
"The four of us are there to answer questions," Culp said. "We're not there to build consensus around a recommendation. That is what we are looking for the committee members to do."
Morosky said one of the questions he had when Culp approached him about serving on the committee was whether district officials would encourage the group to come to its own conclusions.
"I asked him, 'What if we don't agree with the recommendation?' " Morosky said. "They are willing to let the chips fall where they may.
"A big part of our focus will be what would this plan mean for the taxpayers," he said. "Is it something they could support and does it make sense to do it?"
The project as proposed "would fundamentally change the district," Morosky said.
The committee's task will be to determine how much change is acceptable, affordable and necessary in the community, he said.
In addition to reviewing the proposed facilities plan, the group has been asked to make recommendations regarding a construction timeline, how the project could be funded, what improvements are needed at the K-12 athletic complex, and whether the district should seek an operating levy in November 2018.
The committee also will determine what the exact cost to residents would be, and will evaluate the district's permanent-improvement fund to recommend whether Grandview should engage the Ohio Facilities Construction Commission to make the project potentially eligible for partial reimbursement.
The group held its first meeting Jan. 2.
The membership of the financial advisory committee is impressive, said Dot Keil, one of the organizers of Good for Grandview, a resident group that has posted an online petition asking the district to develop a revised facility plan that would be more affordable and acceptable to the community.
"Our group is encouraged to see so many well-respected and talented people on the financial committee," Keil said, "and we're encouraged by the superintendent's recommitment in his letter to the community to making the process transparent.
"We're hoping that as the committee goes through its work, there will be ample opportunity for the community to give its input before the final recommendations are presented," she said.
A public meeting will be held before the group makes it final recommendation, and community input will be sought through an online survey, exit-ticket feedback and other outreach efforts, Culp said.
"This process has been and will continue to be community-based," he said.
Good for Grandview is not an opposition group, Keil said.
"We want to make sure that the likely levy that will be on the November ballot is something that can be supported by the community," she said. "We all want a successful outcome."