NORTH CANTON Superintendent Jeff Wendorf presented recommendations from the building project steering committee to the North Canton City Schools Board of Education during the regular meeting March 15.
Wendorf along with Scott Leopold from DeJong Richter and Dominic Ferranti from Sol/Harris Day presented information gathered from three community meetings held during the past several months. The presentation included a timeline showing how the committee came to develop the recommendations.
Wendorf said the steering committee, made up of teachers, staff and community members, found that reducing the number of buildings in the district from seven to four would be beneficial.
It’s being recommended that district tear down the early childhood center, two elementary schools, two intermediate schools and one middle schools. The district would build two new elementary schools (for pre-K through fifth grade) and one new middle school (grades 6, 7, and 8) and the high school (9-12) would be updated and remodeled. There weren’t any projected costs included in the presentation.
"Tonight is just about making recommendations, the board won’t be making any decisions tonight," Wendorf said. "What is being recommended is a 40 to 50-year plan and with a 10-year finance plan being developed if the board decides to move forward. This recommendation has the district partnering with the Ohio Facility Construction Commission (OFCC), who would be paying 37 percent of the cost to build classroom facilities."
Any additional buildings, such as a new bus garage, would be fully financed by the district. Wendorf and Leopold presented some details of the new buildings on a Powerpoint slideshow that members of the community can find on the district’s website under "Board Docs."
Wendorf said the next steps for the board of education is to determine operating costs for the buildings, maintenance funding, any additional buildings needed beyond the classroom facilities and establish a timeline to get the bond issue on the ballot by November 7, 2017.
"If we decide to put it on the ballot in November, the board must have all of those decisions made by late June or July," Wendorf said.
He also pointed out that the district has a few options at this point. The district could go ahead and take advantage of the OFCC funding and move forward with the project.
Another option would be to tell the OFCC the district wants to do the project but needs more time to prepare. Wendorf said if the board decides to take this option, the district will be put behind other districts in the state going ahead with building projects.
"North Canton City Schools is one of three of the 17 districts in Stark County that hasn’t implemented a building project. If we decide not to take advantage of the OFCC funding right now, it could be delayed while other districts complete their buildings," Wendorf said.
The last option is to leave the buildings as they are and try to continue to repair them as needed. Wendorf said the Greentown building is "an and tired building that’s served its purpose, but it can’t serve our kids in the future."
If the bond issue passes, it will take the district one year to plan and two to three years to build.
- Approved hiring seven individuals as seasonal workers at $9.75 an hour, effective March 16. Seasonal workers include Bob DeBois, John Heather, Bill Lorentz, Tom Masucci, Ryan Sarbaugh, Richard Venditti and Mike Walters.
- Approved an overnight field trip for Missy Stertzbach and 25 speech and debate students to participate in the State Speech & Debate Tournament in Olmsted Falls and Berea with no cost to the board.
- Accepted a $725 donation to purchase items for the Kinesthetic classroom program at Orchard Hill Intermediate School from the Orchard Hill PTO.
- Approved a contract with Stark-Portage Area Computer Consortium (SPARTCC) for internet services and fiscal services for $30,681 annually, effective July 1, 2017 through June 30, 2018.
- Approved 10 facilities use agreements to local organizations including Invent Now, North Canton Heritage Society, North Canton Jaycees, Hoover Hoops Basketball Booster Club, North Canton YMCA, The Arc of Ohio and Tom Tod Ideas.
- Approved partnering with North Canton Community Garden to establish a site on North Canton City Schools property, pending insurance and legal documentation. Wendorf said the location is yet to be determined. Several locations are being considered including areas around the middle school.
UP NEXT: The next regular meeting will be 6:00 p.m., April 19 in the media room at Hoover High School.