SHELBY – Shelby students in pre-kindergarten through eighth grade will hopefully be in a new school building by August of 2022.
The Shelby Board of Education financially authorized the “construction, furnishing and equipping of school facilities” at their Monday night meeting, nearly bringing to fruition a new school project over a year in the making.
The cost to the Shelby City Schools district will be $19,274,020 over 30 years. The cost to Shelby taxpayers? Zero.
“I’m excited for our kids, and our staff members and the community,” said Superintendent Tim Tarvin. “They really deserve this.”
Through a financial package from the district plus Rover Pipeline revenue, Shelby City Schools is able to contribute $19.3 million towards the total needed to build a new Pre-K through eighth grade facility. The other part of the facility will be paid for through the Ohio Facilities Construction Commission (OFCC) Classroom Facilities Assistance Program.
At Shelby's Board of Education meeting in March, receiving contributions from the OFCC seemed like a long shot.
“We were initially very surprised,” Tarvin said. “As we went from January to April, it became more and more clear that we were on a very short list. And then when the OFCC started asking for certain pieces of information, that only led to one conclusion. They notified us that we had indeed gotten to the point we wanted to get to.”
The district’s cost breakdown would be as follows:
• Prior construction funds: $1.7 million
• General fund cash contribution: $2 million
• Certificates of Participation funding: Approximately $15.6 million
The estimated average annual payment towards the new facility is $950,000. Rover Pipeline property taxes will largely support the payments.
In this case, Certificates of Participation (COPs) will function as a lease-purchase agreement. The district will enter into an agreement to rent the improvements from a bank or other third party.
The district will control the design, construction and use of the project. Meanwhile, the bank will act as landlord and collect rent (lease payments) from the district. Once payments are made in full, ownership will be transferred to the district.
According to the district’s financial advisor, David Conley of Rockmill Financial Consulting, the district’s repayment will occur over 30 one-year rental agreements. The board will have to approve the one-year rental agreement every year for the next 30 years.
Tarvin said the district hopes to start the design phase of the new school this October, which could last anywhere from 10 to 12 months.
“Once we get an architect on board, we’ll start meeting with groups of teachers to find out what needs they have for the building,” Tarvin said.
After that, Tarvin estimated 20 to 24 months for construction. The goal is to start the 2022 school year in the new building.
The Shelby City Schools district failed three times in 12 months to pass a bond issue in the district to fund the new facility, with the issue going to ballot in November 2017, May 2018 and November 2018.
A new pre-kindergarten through eighth grade building will combine the student populations of Dowds Elementary, Auburn Elementary and Shelby Middle School. Auburn Elementary was built in 1948, Dowds Elementary was built in 1956, and Shelby Middle School was built in 1965.