Greenon residents took a virtual tour of what the community’s new school building could look like at a special board of education meeting on Thursday.
At the meeting, the board announced it sold its round of bonds at a lower rate than what was originally projected. That means the district will be saving almost $4.3 million, Greenon Treasurer Brad McKee said.
The district’s board of education held the special meeting at Greenon High School with the district’s architectural firm, SHP Leading Design. During the meeting, SHP project manager John Predovich helped residents take a virtual tour through Miami Trace High School, which has some of the features Greenon is considering, using virtual reality.
Voters approved a $36 million bond issue May 2 to build a new Pre-K through 12th-grade school by about 500 votes. The 6.98-mill bond will cost a taxpayer who owns a $100,000 property in the district a little more than $20 a month. The state will pick up $18 million of the costs through the Ohio Facilities Construction Commission
The new building will be constructed on the current site of the Indian Valley Intermediate School. Indian Valley will remain open during construction but will close once the new school opens, as will Enon Primary and Greenon High School. The new school will be for all students in the district, but officials said they intend to divide the building so that students of different ages won’t intermingle.
District representatives visited other school buildings across Ohio to seek ideas for their new school, Superintendent Brad Silvus said.
“The goal was to see what buildings look like, how they are set up and what we might want for ours,” Silvus said of the tours.
Decisions on school details have not been made, officials said.
“Contrary to what some people are saying, we have no design done or any of that,” Silvus said. “With (the Ohio Facilities Construction Commission) you follow a process.”
One aspect of newer buildings Silvus said he did want to explore more is flexible spaces or extended learning areas.
“Areas that can be used for multiple purposes and different setups,” Silvus said. “That is something we are really excited about.”
The school saved millions of dollars by holding onto some bonds a little longer and getting a better rate, McKee said.
“The facilities project represents a major investment in our community, and the Greenon Board and administration are committed to ensuring that the building is of high quality, completed in a timely manner and to saving taxpayer dollars wherever possible,” McKee said.
“We are pleased that the proactive and comprehensive financing strategy paid off with savings for taxpayers and will continue to look for opportunities to realize savings throughout this process.”
New Greenon school, by the numbers:
$36 million: The local share that voters approved in May.
$18 million: The contribution the state will make for the project.
$20: The increase in property tax a month for owners of a $100,000 home.
Staying with the story
The Springfield News-Sun has covered the Greenon school bond issue and and the planning phase every step of the way. The paper will continue to provide updates as school leaders plan to build.