CAMDEN — The Preble Shawnee Local Schools Board of Education held a work session prior to its regular meeting on Thursday, Feb. 22, to hear presentations from four different architectural firms on possible community outreach programs.
After a requested building levy failed for the third consecutive time, the previous board of education decided to pursue different options, hoping for the community’s backing. While the board is now slightly different, with some new members, it is still committed to finding a building plan which will have the full support of the entire community.
For it to happen, every possibility is on the table, including West Elkton Primary School staying open.
According to Superintendent Matt Bishop, while the board is interested in pursuing one of the four firms, first they wish to seek additional information from the Ohio Facilities Construction Commission (OFCC).
Bishop added, hopefully, the information will come in a special meeting before the March meeting, but that all depends on schedules.
“We had a long day on Thursday, where we met with four different architectural firms and we had them come in to have a 15 minute apiece presentation on their ideas or plans to engage our public in finding out what the community would feel comfortable with moving forward, in terms of solving our facilities needs,” Bishop said.
“We’ve told the community over the last several months that everything is on the table and we explained that to the firms. We want to go into this with a blank slate and try to figure out what the community feels are important pieces to that situation, hopefully coming out the other side of this process with some sort of plan that we feel the community would be responsive to.”
He added, the plan could be a levy, construction plan, or renovation plan. The board wants to make sure whatever option they pursue will pass.
“We don’t want to waste any more time. We have facility needs that need to be addressed. The longer we go, the more expensive the solutions are going to be,” he said. “We had four firms present and the board felt very good with specifically two of the four. Right now, we’re in a holding pattern, because next the board would like for the OFCC to come in and give a summary of what they would be doing alongside the community engagement project.
“The board wants to make sure if we’re going to spend money with the firm doing this that it is not a duplicated effort by the OFCC, so that they would be spending their money wisely.”
Representatives from the OFCC will be coming in for either a special meeting or during the regular March meeting to speak with the board. At that point, Bishop foresees them being able to move forward with one of the firms.
“I thought it was a good idea that they’re getting all the facts on the table before making a decision,” he said.
Reach Kelsey Kimbler at 937-683-4061 or on Twitter @KKimbler_RH