If the $9.8 million project continues to proceed forward, according to the OSFC, the state share will be $7.4 million with a local share of $2.4 million.
Back in July, Southern voted to proceed with participation in the OSFC’s Classroom Facilities program and has one year from that July meeting to secure the local share of $2.4 million. Yesterday, Southern Local Superintendent Tony Deem said the most recent vote by the board of education was basically agreeing with the funding formula and costs the OSFC determined.
Deem also said school officials are “exploring all options” on just how to come up with that local share. Deem did say the school board has “no intention” of running any type of issue on the ballot this year. Back in July Deem said placing a levy on the ballot would be a “last case scenario.”
Deem also stressed the project remains in its early stages and if funding cannot be secured the district can always move away from the project and continue business as usual. However, in order to even be considered for the program, Southern had to meet several crucial deadlines such as voting to participate and voting to approve the state funding formula.
School officials are working with architects SHP of Columbus, which more recently completed work in developing a new school facility in Gallia County. SHP has developed a master plan to build an addition onto Southern Elementary School which would become the new Southern High School. The plan also includes correcting deficiencies and omissions from the elementary school project built in 2001 and the demolition of the existing Southern High School. Southern had the option to pursue renovating Southern High School with OSFC but Deem said the cost would’ve resulted in an even greater local match.
Deem also said “it’s important to the Board and to me that everyone in the community be involved” in terms of receiving feedback as to how to proceed.
In other Southern news, the district recently received a $50k school wellness initiative grant from the Osteopathic Heritage Foundation. This is phase two of the foundation’s initiative and Deem said the district is using it to purchase equipment for the Community Fitness Center. Deem said the funds will be used to purchase toning equipment, special equipment for senior citizens, a tread mill, additional elliptical equipment, stretch bands and weights for women, etc.