WADSWORTH — Superintendent Andrew Hill said exchanging questions and answers regarding the future of Central Intermediate School is done, and it’s time for the school board to determine the next steps in dealing with the Ohio Facilities Construction Commission.
“We, I think, had reached the end of the phase where there are questions kind of going back and forth in relation to how the OFCC calculates numbers, how their processes work, examples of other districts that may be in the same situation as us,” Hill said Monday during a school board meeting.
“A contract dispute, I would say, in relation to the agreement that was entered into, that our board of education approved in 2009 and how that is actually interpreted by us and by the Ohio Facilities Construction Commission (is at the heart of the matter),” Hill said.
A special meeting attended by both district and city officials with the OFCC was held Oct. 18 in Wadsworth to discuss the district’s notification last year that it was no longer eligible for more than $15 million in state funding the district believed was available to replace the aging school. The state contends the district has enough excess space to satisfy student enrollment and it doesn’t need to replace the school.
The district’s current enrollment is 4,557 students.
Hill said the district had additional meetings and some email correspondence with the OFCC in December that has carried over into the new year, but it is fast approaching time for the district to determine its best route forward.
Treasurer Doug Beeman said during the district’s September board meeting that when the district passed a bond issue to construct the high school, as well as three elementary schools, an analysis by the commission indicated Central Intermediate School, 151 Main St., should also be replaced.
The district opted to defer construction on a replacement school as it was determined the building still had useful life at that time. It was believed funding for a replacement school would be available when the district decided to move forward with the second phase of the project.
Hill said he would like to have some dialogue with board members about the issue, which is one of the reasons officials entered into a private executive session after Monday’s public meeting. No formal action was taken following the executive session.
“That is really about the best update that I can give at this time, other than to say I think we need to weigh the options and decide how to move forward here as quickly as we can,” Hill said.
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