JACKSON-MILTON SCHOOLS State proposal reduces cost of new building

The new plan calls for a much smaller levy to raise the district's local share of construction costs.
NORTH JACKSON -- The Jackson-Milton school board heard details about a new building proposal by the Ohio School Facilities Commission that substantially reduces the cost of a new school.
Superintendent Buck Palmer introduced a $21.5 million prekindergarten through 12th-grade school building proposal drafted by the OSFC for the district last month at a school district summit meeting.
An 11-mill levy would be needed to fund the proposal's local share. After the summit meeting, Palmer went back to the OSFC. He said he had some financial concerns and asked the commission for a new proposal that would cost less upfront.
This week, Palmer received a revised proposal from the commission that calls for abandonment of Jackson-Milton High School and the construction of a new high school with a wing for grades nine through 12 and a wing for grades six through eight.
The new high school would cost about $11 million. The revised proposal also advises the district to use the elementary school until $4 million in renovations could take place in about 10 years. The new plan calls for a 6.1-mill levy to raise the project's local share.
Assessment: "This is not the best option, but financially it is a better option. It is more palatable," Palmer said. "I wanted another option for the taxpayers and something that could address the immediate need for a new high school."
The board will review the proposal and discuss it further at the December meeting.
"I think, from a financial standpoint, people will be interested [in the new proposal]," Palmer said. "It's a little more complicated, but we just have to make sure we do our homework and get things in writing before going forward."
Either proposal must be approved soon to ensure the levy will be on the ballot in May.
The board also approved the expenditure of $69,798 to buy two 1998 buses, which will arrive at the school in about two weeks to replace some of the district's older buses that are in need of repairs. The district also will receive a new bus in January that cost $54,000 and was bought with state funds.
Pupils' presentation: Sixth-graders Mathew Mascioli and Tommy Macioszek gave the board a PowerPoint presentation that showcased some of the elementary school pupils' achievements.
They worked on the presentation with Ryan Rotuna, the district's director of technology. Rotuna said the children did the presentation to show people the direction technology is taking in the district.
Included in the program was information about two checks the schools raised for the Sept. 11 relief efforts in New York.
In October, the elementary school presented an $810 check to the American Red Cross and a $1,292 check to the New York Firefighters Relief Fund from money they raised in coin collections.

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