MEDINA — A possible bond issue on an upcoming ballot is starting to become a reality.
Medina Schools is considering a bond issue for improvements to several facilities in the district. The earliest it could be on the ballot is May 2020, Superintendent Aaron Sable said Monday. More realistic, he said, would be 2021.
But the school district has several hoops to jump through before that would happen. One step occurred Monday night at its regular meeting at the high school.
The board approved a resolution to enter into an agreement with the Ohio Facilities Construction Commission to inspect Medina’s facilities and assess whether redistricting is needed for its elementary schools.
“What a bond issue would do is would bring in extra monies specifically for facilities,” Sable said previously.
The district receives about $1.2 million a year in sales tax revenue, but Sable said more is needed to keep up with renovations.
“The sales tax isn’t enough for a district our size to get everything done,” he said. “Even the new buildings have issues.”
He said if a bond issue is in place, more of the general fund can go toward academics. Sable said the state commission provides financial support, as well as overview of facilities, planning and enrollment projections for any kind of building projects that impact students.
Claggett Middle School is at the top of the district’s wish list. Some of the school’s students attend classes in trailers.
Sable also would like to expand Claggett, which opened in 1956, originally as Medina Senior High School, and to give it a facelift.
Another major concern is getting air conditioning in buildings that don’t have it. Many of the elementary schools have air conditioning units in windows, but very few have central air.
Sidney Fenn and Ella Canavan elementary schools and Claggett were closed for a day in September when temperatures reached the 90s.
The third piece is safety, which is always a concern in the district.
“We need more collaboration, feedback and input (from the community) before any decisions are made,” Sable said.
“I don’t want to ask our community for more money if they don’t think it’s appropriate.”
The state agency is responsible for guiding capital projects for public schools.
“We’ve discussed a potential opportunity of a future bond,” Sable said. “Nothing has been decided as far as a bond. We have to make sure we follow some preliminary steps to make sure we’re making the right decision as to whether we should be going after a bond.”
He said part of that includes feedback from various committees, the community and staff.
The district met with the commission and found out Medina is eligible for some financial support from the state in terms of building projects.
“We are considered a wealthy district, so the support (the state) will provide is lower than some other districts,” Sable said. “However, we are eligible for between 25 and 28 percent reimbursement.”
A resolution had to be passed with the OFCC.
“We were advised funding would not be available for Medina City Schools for six to eight years,” he said. “That’s how long the waiting list is in Ohio. It doesn’t mean we have to wait six to eight years to put a bond up. It just means they won’t reimburse before that period.”
The commission will come in and work with the district as far as enrollment and make recommendations to all of the facilities.
As far as redistricting, which Sable said is interrelated to future buildings, the elementary schools are currently unbalanced. Ralph E. Waite and Eliza Northrop elementary schools are approaching capacity.
Sable said balancing some enrollment numbers and making the schools more evenly distributed is the goal.
In other news
- Business Director Jon Burkhart has been out on medical leave since September. Sable said he could not discuss any specifics about Burkhart.
Joe Magnacca, formerly of Wadsworth Schools, has been hired as interim business director.
He was approved to replace Burkhart on the Medina Community Recreation Center Advisory Board until the end of 2018.
- Mike Wright, director of the Medina Community Recreation Center, gave a presentation on a possible expansion of a 4,836-square-foot expansion, which would cost about $750,000. It would be paid with carryforward funds of the rec center.
Bob Arnold, the project’s architect, said they hope to bid out the project in the spring and start construction in the summer. If the school board approves the expansion in December, it would then go before the city of Medina’s Finance Committee and eventually City Council.
“I want to make some kind of recommendation to the board in the not too distant future,” Sable said.
The Medina boys soccer team was honored Monday at the school meeting for winning the Division I state championship.
BOB FINNAN / GAZETTE Enlarge
- Board members congratulated the boys’ soccer team for its Division I state championship.
School board member Ron Ross told the Bees that they would “cherish that for the rest of your lives. You will never forget that moment.”
- The board accepted a bid from Motorola Solutions in the amount of $129,837 for the replacement of two-way radios in the Transportation Department.
Medina Police Chief Ed Kinney was responsible for negotiating a deal with Motorola for the radios.