"Counting On You!"

 

“Counting On You!”
Information Document (updated 2/24/20)
Tiffin City Bond Issue - March 17, 2020
1. What is it?
 

The Tiffin City Board of Education voted to place a Bond issue on the March 17, 2020, Ballot. The bond issue is for 5.35 mills generating $44,200,000. The Bond length is for 38 years. This is an Expedited Local Partnership Program by the Ohio Facilities Construction Commission. In 2023/2024 the OFCC will make $39,307,700 available to assist in the completion of the overall project.
 
 

 
2. What is it for? • Build a new PK-6 Elementary building on 82 acres at the South Washington Street site.
• Add the Locally Funded Initiatives to the PK-6 Building. 1. Add Terrazzo flooring to the hallways and dining room. (durability and longevity)
2. Add Interactive monitors to classrooms (safety).
3. Add rubber surfaces to the playground (safety).
4. Add sloped metal roofing. (durability and longevity).
5. Add additional square footage for additional classrooms

• Abate and Demolish/repurpose/sell the 4 elementary buildings. • Renovate the current Middle school with an addition to create a 7-12 building.
• Add these Locally Funded Initiatives to the 7-12 building. 1. Add Terrazzo flooring to the hallways and dining room (durability and longevity).
2. Add interactive monitors to classrooms (safety).
3. Add sloped metal roofing (durability and longevity)
4. Enhance the new High School gym.

• Abate and demolish the academic wing of the current high school.
• Demolish/repurpose/sell the modular classrooms at the high school.
• Renovate the gym and auditorium of the current high school.
• Convert high school cafeteria to a wrestling complex.
• Based on available dollars, consider renovating the high school offices and remaining classrooms above the offices. Move the central office staff to that location to consolidate the district to three buildings.
 

*__Move the current 6th grade to the PK-6 Building._________________________________
Note: Actual costs after the PK-6 building is completed may change due to inflation and modifications needed.
Tiffin’s City School’s Share - $44,200,000 OFCC Share - $39,307,700
Total Cost of the Project - $83,507,015
 

3. The dollars in #2 do not indicate the 68%-32% split the board has been talking about.
 

OFCC will fund buildings based on the Master Plan and POR (Program of Requirements). The district has added Locally Funded Initiatives (LFI”s). Those initiatives are not funded by OFCC and are funded by the district. The cost of the building and demolition are funded at the stated percentage.
PK-6 building - $38,028,079 (includes demolition)
Middle school renovation, new high school - $19,777,363 (includes demolition)
TOTAL - $57,805,442
OFCC Share - $39,307,700 (68%) Tiffin’s City School’s Share - $18,497,741 (32%)
4. When does Tiffin City Schools get the state share?
 

The OFCC money ($39,307,700) will be available in 2023 or 2024 and when the PK-6 building is completed.
5. Regarding the land, why is it being built outside city limits?
 

The new elementary is required to have a minimum of 20 acres with one acre per 100 children. This equates to about 35 acres of land on which to build on. The Board looked at several plots of land within the city limits. The plots were either too small to accommodate the requirements of law or the land was not suitable for a construction site.
6. How many acres do the present elementary buildings sit on?
 

The combined acreage of the current elementary buildings is 22.5 acres
7. Why did you buy land before you went to the voters?
 

The feasibility study by OFCC has been going on for about two years. The board was aware of the need for additional land and the type of land for the construction. The Board voted in open session on July 23, 2019, to purchase the land for the new facility.
8. Why did the Board decide to place this issue on the March ballot instead of November?
 

The Ohio Facility Construction Commission (OFCC) has determined that the Tiffin Schools can construct facilities with the help of the state. The OFCC will support the district with 32%-68% split. On any building project in the Tiffin City Schools, the State will pay up to 68% of the cost of new construction. Each April the OFCC re-evaluates the funding process and reviews and changes that may be made. With the current construction rate of inflation being 4% or more, it was decided to go on the ballot as soon as possible to avoid inflation and a change in the percentage of aid provided by OFCC. The OFCC also looks at the valuation of the area properties. Normally if the valuation of the community goes up, the amount of the state share for construction goes down.
9. How will traffic be affected?
 

Currently, our students are bused to 4 different Elementary buildings, 1 Middle School, and 1 High school. Once the total project is completed our students will be bused to two sites instead of six sites. The schools will be on adequate streets and roads. The traffic problems of pick up and drop off will be greatly reduced. One of the issues to remedy will be the traffic issue at the current Middle School. With expanded parking and driveways in the design, that issue should be resolved.
 

10. What will happen to the old buildings?
 

The decision to what will happen to the old buildings will be made closer to the end of the construction. The Board, with input from the district, will decide to repurpose, sell, or demolish the buildings. The OFCC provides their share of the money to demolish the buildings if that is the wishes of the community
11. Why is the Board recommending to build new buildings?
 

There has been much research done on the conditions of the current school structures in our district. The Ohio Facilities Construction Commission has recommended the district build new facilities to replace the current structures. The school district qualifies for 68% state assistance in the building process.
12. Why not just replace the current building in the current location?
 

In order to get the best use of the local dollars and state dollars, much research has been done on the best size and combinations of school districts. The Ohio Facilities Construction Commission strongly recommends that the land for an elementary school must be on at least 20 acres plus 1 acre for every 100 children. None of our elementary buildings meet that criteria.
13. What will be the cost of the new Elementary and High School?
 

The total cost for the project will be $44, 200,000. This amount will pay for the Elementary, the locally funded initiatives and demolishing of the older structures. The cost of the High School will be minimal or at no cost. Our turn to receive OFCC money is four/five years away. The OFCC money should be enough to totally pay for the additional work in phase two of the project which includes a new high school, expanding the new HS gym, remodeling the current middle school and remodeling the current high school gym, auditorium, cafeteria, and classrooms.
14. You said this project is for an elementary and a separate junior-senior building. What is the cost of the junior-senior high school complex?
 

The cost to remodel and build the 7-12 complex is $22,844,436 but this is a combined project using local and state money. The OFCC state money will not be available for another 4-5 years. The local money will be dedicated to the elementary construction. When the state money becomes available, it will be for remodeling the middle school and an addition to become a new junior-senior high school. The district will also remodel the current high school auditorium, gym, and cafeteria. It is estimated that the money from the OFCC will cover the entire cost of the second phase of the project.
15. Why do we need a new high school? What is wrong with the present one?
 

The current high school was also assessed by the OFCC and it was determined that building also qualifies for OFCC monies. The ranking of the high school was 72% which means the OFCC will not fund a renovation of the current high school but will fund the construction of a new high school.
16. How will the school be held responsible for the expenditures of money?
 

The school district must follow OFCC guidelines in the construction of a building. Normally the school will ask community members to be on different committees in the design of the building. This, along with state oversight, will assure the money is spent correctly.
17. Would the high school and junior high be operated separately or as one school?
 

The school buildings will be connected but the schools would be operated as two separate buildings. The population size and type of curriculum would determine the administrative structure.
 

18. How are we going to take care of it once it is built?
 

The Tiffin Community passed an increase to the school district’s Permanent Improvement Fund in 2016. The amount generated by this money issue will be used to maintain the new structures.
19. How long will the tax be levied?
 

The property tax will be for 38 years. This is a standard time length for bond issues. With proper maintenance, the new structures can expect a lifetime of 70-80 years.
20. Do we really need a new building? The ones we have to look good to me.
 

The school district, using OFCC, did a comprehensive assessment of the current structures. This was done by facilities experts who have the expertise to analyze data and determine the longevity and costs of current structures and equipment. The five buildings were evaluated in 23 areas. Those areas are:
Heating system Roofing Ventilation/Air Conditioning
Electrical systems Plumbing/fixtures Windows
Foundation Walls and Chimneys Roofs and Floors
General Finishes Interior Lighting Security systems
Emergency Lighting Fire Alarm Handicap Access
Site Condition Sewage System Water Supply
Exterior Doors Hazardous Materials Life Safety
Loose Furnishing Technology
Each of the above was ranked the following
3 – Needs replaced
2 – Needs repaired
1 - Satisfactory
Here are how the schools ranked.
Krout ES Lincoln ES Noble ES Washington ES High School
3’s - 15 3’s – 14 3’s – 15 3’s – 14 3’s - 14
2’s - 6 2’s - 5 2’s - 4 2’s - 3 2’s - 4
1’s - 2 1’s - 4 1’s - 4 1’s - 6 1’s - 5
The facilities experts also attach a price to the areas needing to be replaced or repaired. The cost to replace or repair all the items listed as a “2” or “3” is;
Krout ES $ 6,697,083
Lincoln ES $ 5,111,860
Noble ES $ 6,900,902
Washington ES $ $ 6,528,485
High School $18,512,189
Total $37,880,519
Note: The cost to the Tiffin Community for the PK-6, the 7-12 building and the remodeling of the current high school gym, auditorium and cafeteria will be $44,200,000.
 

21. Wait a minute, what is involved in the total bond cost of $44,200,000.
 

This is an Expedited Local Partnership Program (ELPP) of the Ohio Facilities Construction Commission (OFCC). Tiffin schools are not eligible for the OFCC money for another 4-5 years. The district would be responsible for any construction prior to the OFCC eligibility of money.
Cost of the PK-6 building - $36,217,869
Cost of the demolition - $ 1,810,210
Cost of the Locally Funded Initiatives - $ 6,137,339
Cost of the Incidentals - $ 34,582
TOTAL $44,200,000
22. What are “Locally Funded Initiatives” for the PK-6 building?
 

The OFCC allows a district to add or modify the new building. The OFCC adjusts the cost and the school districts pay for the overage cost of the district's initiatives. Here are the LFI’s for the Elementary building.
Terrazzo Flooring – main corridors - $660.016 (durability and longevity)
Terrazzo flooring – student dining - $203,025 (durability and longevity)
Interactive monitors in the classrooms - $199,500 (safety)
Rubber playground surface - $466,488 (safety)
Sloped metal roofing - $1,993,022 (durability and longevity)
Additional square footage - $881,416
Additional square footage for LFI’s - $1,441,618 (growth and changes in curriculum)
Contingencies - 292,254
Total - $6,137,339
23. Wait a minute again! The district wants to redesign the middle school and build a 7-12 building. What is that cost?
 

Cost of 7-12 building - $19,271,955
Cost of Demolition - 505,408
Cost of Locally Funded Initiatives - $ 3,066,998
TOTAL - $22,844,361 (Est. because of inflation)
In the ELPP program, the school district is required to pay for the entire cost of the elementary building and once the OFCC money comes available the school is reimbursed the cost. In this case, the cost of the PK-6/7-12 buildings is more than our cost of approximately $16,000,000. The Tiffin Focus group has recommended that the approximate $16,000,000 be used for the following.
Renovate the current HS gym and Auditorium.
Enhance the new high school gymnasium.
Renovate the current HS cafeteria to be used for Wrestling.
Based on available dollars, consider renovating the old HS offices for the central administration and renovate the classrooms above the HS offices for later use.
 

24. Based on the above numbers, what is their recommendation?
 

The OFCC uses certain guidelines to determine the condition of buildings. It is based on a 66% rule. If the cost to renovate a building is 66% or more of the cost to build a new one, it is recommended to tear down the structures and build new ones. This is the first study by OFCC of the district structures.
The latest percentages for the Tiffin Buildings are:
Krout ES 70%
Lincoln ES 71%
Noble ES 70%
Washington ES 69%
High School 72%
According to OFSC guidelines, all five structures should be replaced.
25. Could we rebuild at the current locations? a. The Ohio Facilities Construction Commission will not provide financial assistance to fund any structure on land that is under the required amount of acreage.
b. Regarding the Elementary - It would cost more to build four individual buildings than one centralized building.
c. Existing sites are too small for new buildings including on-site bus and parent drop-off,
d. Existing buildings would need to be demolished prior to constructing a new facilities and would require displacement of students and staff.
 
 
 
Yes we could, however,
26. When will the new building be completed?
 

After the bond issue passes, the process of design and construction will begin. It is anticipated we will be in the new elementary facility in the fall of 2023. This is a conservative number that takes into account weather and construction delays. The best time to move in is over the summer and not mid-year.
27. Are security measures included in the Bond package?
 

The new construction will have required security measures plus the district will be able to add any that may enhance the security of the facilities.
28. Why should we replace the current structures?
 

The current structures have served the community well. Many of us remember the good old days and the athletic contests in those gyms and on the athletic fields. Those educational programs prepared the majority of us for jobs that no longer exist or are only at a minimum. If we are to meet the needs of the future, we must be able to equip our young people with the necessary skills to compete on a national and international level. The older buildings are difficult to operate, in continued need of repair, do not meet handicap requirements, and are not designed for elementary classrooms.
29. Would TCS sell the property where the current Administration Building is located if district offices move into the repurposed Junior High/High School?
 

That decision will be made as the projects are being completed. Based on enrollment, availability of space and use of space will determine the use of the current administration site.
 

30. What are the conditions of the modular classrooms?
 

The current modular buildings are old and will not be used. They will be repurposed, sold, or demolished.
31. What will be the savings to constructing a new facility?
 

This is difficult to compute. The buildings will be a different size, have air conditioning, more technology, etc. There will be an increased cost for operating the new systems but that cost should be offset by not having to operate four elementary buildings.
32. Will, any of this money be used for operating?
 

No, this money would be strictly used for construction and equipping of a new school. State law does not permit us to use the bond money except for construction. The Permanent Improvement money can only be used for maintenance, repair, and equipping the facility.
33. What are the recommended acreages for these buildings?
 

OFCC requires a minimum of 20 acres for an elementary building plus one acre per 100 children in the school. That equates to approximately 35 acres. That would be the minimum for the PK- building. The 7-12 construction is on the site of the middle school. Since all of the athletic facilities are located at another site, the OFCC has approved the acreage needed for that construction.
34. How much will the levy cost me?
 

The average home in the Tiffin City Schools has a valuation of $100,000. The below chart lists a range of property values so you can see where you fit.
Property Value Per Year Per Half Per Month Per Day
$ 50,000 $ 93.63 $ 46.81 $ 7.80 $ 0.26
$100,000 $ 187.25 $ 93.63 $15.60 $ 0.52
$200,000 $ 374.50 $187.25 $31.21 $ 1.04
NOTE: The middle school bond expires in 2023. Its current collection is $65.00 per $100,000. That will drop off your tax bill.
35. Do new buildings affect student learning?
 

New research has found that new facilities do affect student learning and attendance. Improved ventilation, lighting, technology, mental attitude, are just some of the areas that have been found to improve student learning. New facilities with additional space, storage areas, technology, etc., also improve the teacher’s ability to teach. The current grade-level-banded elementary schools we have now makes it challenging to move students around if they are in accelerated classes and need to move to a higher grade level for specific coursework. It becomes difficult to have middle school students transported to the high school for honors classes such as Chinese and honors science. The new 7-12 concept would alleviate that problem.
36. What about the technology in the current schools?
 

Because they are old structures with thick walls, inadequately sized classrooms, minimal electrical sources, etc., it has been very difficult to adequately install the necessary technology to meet today’s needs for the school population.
 

37. How do new buildings affect the community?
 

The research from “Knowledge Works” does indicate that new school facilities positively affect the community. First, new schools can enhance property values. Second, there are a number of features proposed in the new facility that will provide improved opportunities for community usage of the facilities. These new facilities include a new ‘Auditeria’ and a larger competition gym for various athletic contests. Most importantly, the new facilities will support enhanced learning opportunities for the children of the Tiffin community.
38. Are school facilities linked to the economic development of our community?
 

Quality school facilities are necessary if we want to maintain a community that is poised for new economic growth and prosperity. School buildings, in addition to exemplary curricula, reflect our community’s commitment to our children and to our community’s future.
39. Why are we building a PK - 6 facility? a. Cost and efficiency! It is much more cost-efficient to operate one building as opposed to four. We would have one heating system instead of four, two cafeterias instead of four, etc.
b. Duplication! By going to a single site, we can consolidate some of our services We would also avoid paying travel in between the buildings.
c. The 6th grade was moved to allow for adequate space for the middle school-high school campus.
 
 
 
There were several reasons to build a PK-6 facility.
40. Safety and Security?
 

Times are much different today than when the existing buildings were constructed. Things such as remote locking doors, video surveillance, and electronic security systems were not available or feasible when our campuses were constructed. Advancements in air ventilation systems, egress strategies, and ergonomics have been made in recent decades and will be incorporated in the design of the new facilities. The floor plans and designs of Tiffin’s current campuses make it very difficult and would be very expensive to achieve a modern safe and secure learning environment for the children of the district.
41. Is this a good time to build?
 

Yes!! Interest rates are down, construction prices are steady, people are looking for jobs, and with the help of the OFCC, we are close to getting two buildings for the price of one.
42. Why is the design of the building and layout not complete?
 

The specific design of the building program is an expensive architectural service and will not be completed until after the community approves the bond issue. These details will take the architects several months of work with input from staff, community members, and other professionals. We currently have a simple concept plan for a new PK-6 school to illustrate how the grade levels will be separated. After passage, the detailed design of the project will take place.
43. Is the architectural firm selected by the board being paid for the services they are currently providing the prior to the bond issue?
 

Yes. The Board has approved $45,000 for services provided by the architectural firm of Garmann Miller.
 

44. So what is the bottom line?
 

The Tiffin Community needs to address facility needs just like we all do in our personal and business life. We try our best to make things such as our house, our car, our equipment, our lawnmower, our furniture last as long as possible. At some point, we must consider a change. It is either too old and impractical to repair and/or we have outgrown it. The current age of the buildings range from 60 to 89 years old, the buildings do not meet current educational needs, and we are constantly repairing the old structures. The community needs to decide the next step.
45. What are the benefits of a bond issue for residents who do not have children in the school?
 

There are a number of benefits for residents without school-aged children. First, new schools can enhance property values. Second, there are features proposed in the new facility that will provide improved opportunities for community usage. These include a new “Auditeria,” large competition gyms, and large multi-purpose areas. Most importantly, the new facilities will support enhanced learning opportunities for the students of the Tiffin Community.
46. What is the impact of a positive or negative result on March 17, 2020?
 

Positive results on March 17, 2020
a. Construction of up to date PK-6 and 7-12 buildings.
b. Get an $83,507,700 educational building complex and specified projects at 48% off.
(reduced to $44,200,000)
c. Go from four elementary buildings to one elementary building.
d. Eliminate bus congestion at the elementary buildings.
e. Eliminate student pick-up/drop-off congestion at the elementary buildings.
f. Improve the academic environment (technology, space, expanded labs etc.)
g. Improve comfort (Vent. Light. Air cond. Etc.)
h. Improve the overall safety of the school buildings.
i. Reduce overcrowding in the buildings.
j. Upgrade parts of the current high school for expanded use.
k. Go from a six campus district to a 3 campus district for more effectiveness.
Negative results on March 17, 2020
a. The Board will need to review their position, revise the plan, repeat the plan to the voters, or to not place it on the ballot at this time.
b. District will need to find funding to upgrade current facilities without OFCC assistance.
(Upgrading cost $37,880,519 – Not including inflation).
c. The district will still have four elementary buildings with grade level issues.
d. Because of the location of elementary buildings, bussing will still be an issue.
e. Because of location of elementary buildings, student drop-off/pick-up will remain an issue.
f. All the buildings will remain non-efficient, non-ADA facilities.
g. The district will still have 6 campuses.
47. Where can I get further information regarding the school’s bond levies?
 

You may obtain additional information and ongoing information from the district’s webpage – tiffincityschools.org. There will also be several community meetings held throughout the district. You can check our website for the locations and times or call the Board office at 419-447-2515.
Questions from Community meetings
1. What is the anticipated life span of the buildings?
 

The normal life span with proper maintenance will be 70-80 years.
2. Will the playgrounds be fenced in at the PK-6 building?
 

The PK/K playground will be fenced in. The remainder of the playgrounds can be fenced in if the district decides to put that into the plan.
3. Will there be more teachers and aides?
 

That will not be answered until we get closer to opening and we look at the enrollment. It is not planned to add extra staff but that may change.
4. Why does part of Columbian need to be demolished?
 

It is not required to demolish any buildings but the OFCC will provide funding for demolishing the building that will not be used. That will be a local decision as we get closer to opening the middle School High school campus.
5. To clarify, Phase two will take effect if the levy passes?
 

Yes, the plan is to construct a middle school high school campus plus other renovations to parts of the current high school. That is when the OFCC money will be available.
6. Why aren’t the three buildings placed at the middle school?
 

The main reason is space. The flood plain also enters into the design and it would not be possible.
7. How much is the current bond issue that will go off the tax duplicate in 2023?
 

The effective millage that would be reduced is 2.14 mills which is approximately $65 per $100,000 in valuation.
8. How many classrooms are planned for PK?
 

There are 4 planned classrooms for PK. PK is a half-day program so that will allow for 8 PK classes.
9. Are there playgrounds planned for the high school?
 

No.
10. What will the cost be to maintain the 81 acres?
 

That cost will be minimal. Basically mowing and if there is any part not being used it could be rented out for farming.
11. Did the board “jump the gun” buying the 81 acres?
 

The steering committee has been meeting for 2 years. The land was purchased after one year of meetings. The land was bought for about 1/3 of the cost of the land for the current middle school.
12. The wording on the ballot states “and additional land acquisition” why?
 

This wording was recommended by the board’s legal team. It was an “in case” addition. As of right now there is no intent to buy additional land. The board has enough to satisfy the project.
13. What is the allowance for growth in the district?
 

Except for special districts in Ohio, very few districts are growing. Birth rate is decreasing and studies have indicated that most new buildings attract minimal growth.
14. Will there be dedicated auditorium space/performance space with supporting amenities?
 

The renovation of the current auditorium will take into consideration all that is needed for an updated performance center.
 

15. Will the new middle school high school building be “Columbian” or will it only be the high school?
 

The plans are to keep the high school “Columbian”.
16. What happens to the land if the levy does not pass?
 

The school will retain possession for future use.
17. Why is the High School project tied to the elementary project?
 

This has been the recommendation of the Task Force. Since it is an ELPP project and the money is delayed, the Task Force looked at the condition of the high school and put in their plans the construction of a new high school.
18. Are any of our buildings suitable for repurposing rather than demolition?
 

The current buildings can be repurposed but based on OFCC guidelines they cannot be repurposed as a school building if the district is going to use the OFCC funds.
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