October 16 - Summer Renovation Update & PK-5 Plan
On Tuesday, October 16, Tipp City Schools held another evening community meeting to provide updates on the renovation projects that have been undertaken at LT Ball (grades 4-5) and Tippecanoe Middle School (grades6-8) as well as to seek feedback on the current planning for a construction project that would expand LT Ball with an additional wing for student classrooms to accommodate students in grades K-5.
Updates at TMS and LT Ball have resulted in major replacements or upgrades to the HVAC systems at both buildings, including air conditioning the remaining portions of the middle school. Safety upgrades like replacement fire alarms, blast film on exterior doors in the district, and additional security cameras are all either completed or underway. One of the most visible changes is the replacement of the windows that are more energy efficient and dramatically improve the appearance of the building.
Conversations then turned to the efforts to address the district’s PK-5 needs. In July, the district was informed that it now qualifies for the Expedited Local Partnership Program (ELPP) through the Ohio Facilities Construction Commission (OFCC). It allows the district to move forward with new construction efforts before the district’s number for co-funding comes up. Then, once the district’s number comes up, the OFCC will provide a co-funding payment to the district for the work already undertaken. This is an exciting opportunity for the district as it helps mitigate some of the hurdles that other OFCC programs provided. At the September board meeting, the Board adopted a resolution of intent to move forward to putting a PK-5 building addition at the LT Ball site. During the meeting, Mr. Gary Pfister, Director of Services, shared some rough conceptual images of the possible reprogramming (rearrangement) of LT Ball with the new construction classroom wing to support students in grades PK-5.
As a question and answer section arose, great questions were asked about timelines, OFCC co-funding limitations, and what will happen with the Broadway site. The intention would be that if a bond levy were to pass in May 2019, students would be in the new classrooms in August 2021. OFCC co-funding will cover limited square footage per student that is notably smaller than current classrooms. It will fund the demolition and abatement of Nevin Coppock, but will not co-fund the relocation of the bus garage and tennis courts. While the Broadway site leaves several unknowns, Mr. Sam Spano, school board president, shared an intention to form a committee to explore possibilities with the schools, the city, and the neighborhood. It was also noted that in the current plan, students will continue to attend Broadway for the next two years and that there is more time after the bond levy to finalize those plans.