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Published: Tuesday, August 20, 2019 @ 4:00 AM
A new Beavercreek High School is the best option to accommodate the district’s anticipated growth and is the most effective use of tax dollars, according to a community advisory panel’s report to the school board.
The advisory team met several times over the last several months and developed a consensus on the best path forward after narrowing down options from six plans to two, according to School Board President Jo Ann Rigano.
“We’re overcrowded in several of our schools,” said Rigano, who served on the 60-member advisory team. “My concern is that if something isn’t done, I don’t want our kids in trailers. I don’t think that’s safe. I think that’s money down the drain. It’s just a Band Aid.”
Enrollment projections provided by the district indicate students in PreK-12 will grow in population by more than 1,000 students in about 10 years, from 8,003 this school year to 9,218 in 2027-2028.
Rigano said the advisory team discarded four of six plans and looked closely at the remaining two. Plan A, which was not chosen by the advisory team, involved the district purchasing land to build a new elementary in the northern areas of the district and provided lower initial costs than Plan B.
Plan B calls for building a new high school on existing land, transitioning the current high school for grades 7 and 8 and moving ninth-graders into the new building, keeping Ferguson Hall for alternative uses, according to the master facilities plan.
“In the long run, the community will have to decide, but there will be a cost of doing nothing,” Rigano said.
Both plans would call for a new property tax. Cost estimates on a 38-year bond issue for Plan A are $24 a year for $100,000 worth of property; Plan B would cost an estimated $96 a year per $100,000 of property.
The cost of using trailers in lieu of either plan was also considered. To buy trailers for eight classrooms with restrooms would cost approximately $914,367, while leasing them would cost $722,335 for 36 months and about $894,547 for 60 months, according to the facilities plan.
Roger Coy, former Beavercreek schools assistant superintendent, also served on the advisory team. Jacob Coy Middle School on Dayton-Xenia Road is named after Coy’s great, great grandfather.
Coy said the plan looks at the long-range options for the district, the growth of which is easy to see with developments on Shakertown, Indian Ripple and Trebein roads.
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“If you just drive around in Beavercreek and look at all the home building, you can see what’s happening as far as growth is concerned, Coy said. “The need is there. I don’t see it getting less.”
In December 2018, the district entered a one-year, $47,000 contract with SHP Leading Design, which has offices in Columbus and Cincinnati. The updated facilities plan is the result after SHP assessed the district’s current school buildings, analyzed enrollment projections and facilitated meetings with the advisory team.
The school board is expected to vote on and approve the updated master facilities plan at their Sept. 12 meeting, according to district spokesman Ryan Gilding.