WOOSTER – City Schools Board of Education will hear a report from the architectural firm GPD Group assessing Cornerstone Elementary School’s feasibility as part of the district’s proposed master plan.
Superintendent Gabe Tudor said, based on feedback from the public regarding demolition of a major portion of Cornerstone, the district paid GPD to do an additional study of the building. It had already been evaluated by the district’s construction partner, the Ohio Facilities Construction Commission.
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School district’s master plan: Wooster community shares master facilities plan concerns, board hears committee update
The GPD report will encompass an evaluation of the building’s structure and functionality. Using updated estimates, the cost of renovating the building would approach $40 million and constructing a new building, about $44 to $45 million, Tudor said.
“My continued take is I very much want to honor and respect the historical significance of that building,” Tudor said. “I try to respect that as best we can.”
Funding for school facilities based on state formulas
The OFCC determines its funding based on the district’s plan and its own metrics and formulas, Tudor said.
While the OFCC won’t refuse to consider renovation, he said, some of the financing could fall to taxpayers.
“You can do as much LFI (locally funded initiative) as you would like for any project,” Tudor said.
Should the district opt to renovate Cornerstone, a new plan would have to be submitted to the OFCC.
The district’s timeline for approving a master plan is dependent on when it wants to go to the public with a bond issue, a decision which would require two separate resolutions at two different board meetings.
More: Property purchased between Oldman and Milltown roads part of master facilities plan
OFCC funding of 33% of the project is locked in for a potential bond issue on the ballot in November or May, Tudor said.
“That doesn’t mean we have to go to the voters,” he said.
Tudor said the district has been as transparent as possible with documentation about all aspects of the plan.
A master plan for facilities was discussed as early as 2018 in a board retreat that was open to the public, said board President Sue Herman.
“It’s not like we’re making a snap decision,” Herman said.
“We want to take into account the emotion generated by this plan,” she said, but also “make clear our first commitment is to students,” to whom the district is accountable “now and in the future.”
Board member Jody Starcher said the public should be given time to digest and work through information to be provided by GPD at the May 24 regular session of the board.
“We should allow time for feedback,” Starcher said, and for giving the public ample opportunity to understand the report. “That’s my perspective.”
Based on the new report to be presented, Tudor said, a board vote on the master plan would not be put on the agenda for May 24.
Wooster hires Edgewood Middle School principal
In the non-work session portion of the meeting, the board voted on personnel matters.
Among them was hiring Shannon Federinko as principal of Edgewood Middle School with a two-year contract at $115,000 per year.
Federinko’s multiple roles in education have included assistant principal at North Royalton High School and most recently principal of Heritage Elementary in Medina.
Former Edgewood Principal CJ Spreng chose to move into the assistant principal position at Edgewood.
Among the items on the agenda for the regular session will be increased ticket and season passes prices for athletics and recognition of athletes and teams who are state qualifiers and All-Ohio athletes.
The regular board meeting will be 7 p.m. Tuesday in the Wooster High School large group instruction room, 515 Oldman Road.
This article originally appeared on The Daily Record: Cornerstone Elementary under further review by Wooster City Schools