Link to Auction Brochure
During the months of August and September the Board of Education has discussed an increased enrollment for the 2019-2020 school year. We enrolled 89 new students this summer and our enrollment is up to 1,421 students to begin the year. Due to large class sizes in specific grades we denied new open enrollment applications in third, fourth, and sixth grades. We began the school year with 555 students in grades K-4, 439 in grades 5-8, and 371 students in grades 9-12 attending our High School. Additionally, we have 56 students attending Greene County Career Center. We are proud of the work we are doing to educate our students in our three facilities but the increased student numbers have caused overcrowding issues in our Elementary that must be addressed.
This past winter the Board discussed several items that sought to address a growing number of issues related to staffing efficiency, course offerings, and future facility needs. At that time, it was discussed that we did not have a space issue for the 2019-2020 school year but we would experience space issues in the future. Last spring, changes were made to the middle school schedule to improve staff efficiency, but the other items discussed in March were not resolved by that Board decision.
Kindergarten was expanded from part-time to all-day, every day kindergarten beginning in 2019. This expansion did not create the space issue at Greeneview Elementary, but it does limit our ability to add classrooms in the future. All of our classrooms, offices, and storage areas are full in this facility. With a large class size in third grade, currently 118 students, we will be forced to make a decision on how to educate on how we educate fourth grade students next year. We do not believe that our current classrooms at the elementary are equipped to house over 30 students in a classroom, based on their square footage, nor do we believe that is sound educational practice to see elementary class sizes climb that high.
This past winter we discussed moving fourth grade to the middle school and eighth grade to high school. This is a potential option for addressing the space issue because we can add another fourth grade teacher by moving to the new building. This solution was met with resistance and ultimately was not considered. We also discussed moving preschool from our elementary facility. Not only did we not move preschool but, based on numbers, we were required to increase our number of preschool classrooms this year from two to three classes. We are required to educate those students and removing them from the elementary would require us to find a facility in town capable of housing students. This would likely require a lease payment and capital improvement dollars to bring a separate facility up to an educational standard. One item that we did not discuss thoroughly in the winter was the possibility of adding classrooms on to the Middle School to expand the number of classrooms and grades we can educate in our newest facility. This fall, the board has begun exploring this facility expansion.
When the Middle School was built in 2012 the Middle School was designed to expand by four academic classrooms. The site was leveled and the building was designed to account for this addition without increasing costly HVAC, plumbing, or electrical infrastructure. Our Board has begun conversations with Prodigy Building Solutions, a design-build company out of Cincinnati, to assess the possibility of adding four classrooms prior to the beginning of the 2020 school year. Prodigy presented a timeline and tentative budget at the September Board Meeting in order for this project to be completed prior to the 2020 school year. It is possible to add these four classrooms prior to next school year if we begin the design phase of this project prior to the end of October, 2019.
The Board has directed the Superintendent and Treasurer to explore ways to pay for the estimated $1.2 million classroom addition without going to the taxpayers to request funding. In the last month the Board has contracted with an appraisal firm to assess the property value of the administrative buildings on Cottonville Road. The Board bought this office facility for $240,000, but at the time of the purchase it was appraised for $650,000. A recent appraisal reports that the facility is now worth $870,000. The work done to the facility in the past two years by Greeneview has totaled $75,556, bringing the District's investment into this property to $314,556. Annually, the District receives $28,500 in lease payments from Kettering. At the minimum bid price, it would take the District over 17 years of lease payments to earn the same amount of money as we expect at the time of the sale.
This board asset is a property owned by the Board and is non-essential to the education of our students. This week the Board voted 5-0 to begin the process of auctioning off this facility in compliance with Ohio Revised Code. An auction date has been set for Monday, October 28th at 9 AM. The Board has set a minimum amount of $870,000 for the facility. Should the facility sell in auction, the Board of Education offices will move to a facility owned by the Board. That decision will be finalized based off of the timing of the sale and occupancy of the new owner.
We believe this decision to auction off a valuable asset will provide our District with resources to allow us to meet a facility need for our students without asking taxpayers to fund the project. In the event the facility does not sell at auction, then we will explore other avenues to address our space issues for Greeneview Elementary for the 2020 school year.