Officials give update on school project

By Eric Grosso

The target date for the completion of the new school is December 2010.

BROOKFIELD — School officials shared an update on the $31.3 million new school project and introduced potential upgrades to the construction plans.

Michelle Arnold, project executive, said final reviews of the school construction plans should be completed in the next four weeks.

Upon completion, the district will advertise for bids in April and would receive and approve the bids in May.

Arnold said the project should take about 18 months, with a target completion date of December 2010.

The district’s new facility would replace three old maintenance-intense, utility-inefficient buildings, school officials have said.

Also, Chuck Carrier, head of the Brookfield New School Committee, discussed a possible list of items the district could fund by using Locally Funded Initiative money, or LFIs.

The LFIs are an additional 1.6-mill, $3.5 million fund that voters passed as part of a 7.4-mill levy in 2007. Unlike the project for the new school, the LFIs are used for upgrades wanted by the district that are not covered by the Ohio School Facilities Commission funding.

Carrier said the district already has chosen to incorporate a 400- seat auditorium at $1.6 million and the purchase price of land for the new school at $650,000 into the LFI money.

The district has more than 400 students in grades nine through 12. However, board President Tim Filipovich said projected enrollment by the OSFC estimated the district having less than 400 students when the school is finished, which would all fit in the planned auditorium.

Carrier noted that the district still has LFI money to spend, and the board members will approve items based on community input.

He said a new football field with stands at a cost of $1.6 million wasn’t well-received by the public and probably won’t be included. He said, however, that he received a favorable response from the community to a six- or eight-lane track, costing $250,000 or $370,000, respectively.

Board member Ronald Brennan said having a large, all-weather track could give the district the option of hosting track tournaments, which would bring additional money into the district.

He also said upgrades to computers and technology probably will have to be incorporated at a cost of about $275,000.

Also on the list was an 8,000-square-foot training facility that would include a wrestling room, a football locker room and a weight-training room at a cost of $1.2 million.

More information on potential projects is expected to be given at the next board meeting April 15.

Tim Thomas of Balog, Steines, Hendricks and Manchester Architects said drilling for geothermal wells on school district property should be completed in June. The work was awarded in December to M & W Drilling, LLC, based out of Knoxville, Tenn., in the amount of $792,000.

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