COMMUNITY OVERSIGHT COMMITTEE
Toledo Public Schools Building Program
August 18, 2005
Present: Bill Babcock, Joyce LaVoy, John Martin, Steven Ramirez, and Kevin Smith.
Excused: James Cobham, Darlene Fisher, Jodi Gross, Richard Hodges, Bonita Johnson, Rev. David Morris, Doni Miller, Kenny Terry and Ford Weber.
Also attending: John Foley, Dr. Eugene Sanders, Gary Sautter, and Sarah Foley (recording secretary).
Presiding Chair Mr. Kevin Smith called the meeting to order at noon. The minutes from the
July 15, 2005 meeting were approved.
Mr. Smith stated that Jeanne Emch has resigned from the committee and that the committee is in the process of developing a plan to fill the empty spaces.
Mr. Smith also gave the scheduling subcommittee report. He stated that all projects are on schedule and because of the good weather some projects are even ahead. He also stated that since the beginning of the project, there have been many changes on the schedule some have changed as much as six months mostly because of swing space issues. Mr. Smith handed out a detailed report of the schedule for segments one and two.
Mr. Sautter stated that another reason that things were moved were to accommodate the weather. Many interior renovations were moved back into the wintertime to allow more time during good weather for exterior projects.
Mr. Smith also stated that Libbey had some changes because of the health clinic. He stated that it is a good time to start tracking Segment two because projects are really starting to get going and there were a some delays on segments two because of land issues, swing space, acquisitions and FEMA.
Mr. Babcock asked for clarification about the health clinic and Libbey.
Dr. Sanders explained that they are looking for community partners in each of the learning communities. Similar to MCO partnering with Bowsher and Start partnering with YMCA. They are anticipating partnering with a pediatric clinic for the Libbey area. The clinic would be able to be shut off from the school traffic, but would make a lot of sense to give students in the area access to health care. The agreement is still being worked out. Dr. Sanders asked committee members to feel free to suggest other highly visible, meaningful partners that focus on education or community for the other learning communities.
Mr. Babcock stated that he thought it was a great idea and would like to be kept informed.
Mr. Martin gave the financial subcommittee report. He stated that with the recent resignations of committee members, Mr. Martin is currently the only member of the finance subcommittee. He is working on a more efficient and understandable way to present the findings of the subcommittee. Segment one is only about 2.5% over budget, which isn’t bad considering that the original estimate did not account for inflation. When you are over budget you can go back to the OSFC and appeal. In addition to the total budget the subcommittee needs to also track the LFI money.
Mr. Sautter suggested that his office could assist in helping to track the budget in a easy to read manner.
Mr. Martin added that the district should be proud because the total LFI money for the entire project is what was used on one school in Cincinnati.
Dr. Sanders stated that the capital improvement levy on the ballot in May would have been used for pitched roofs and to take care of existing schools. The levy was not passed which was the case with most levies in the area and statewide. The upcoming levy should the board proceed with it will help with that problem if it is passed.
Mr. Smith reminded the committee that they are not here to make decisions, but to investigate changes and keep track of those changes for the community.
Ms. LaVoy stated that the MBE subcommittee will have their next meeting on October 9 and should have an update for the entire committee after that meeting.
Mr. Smith stated that the Akron Schools started the building process at the same time that TPS did and they just went to bid with the first school, so TPS should be proud of that.
Mr. Martin stated that he noticed that Rogers is looking good and making great progress.
Mr. Ramirez stated that the Historical subcommittee will begin to work on Segment three, since Segment two has been progressing along. He added that he needed an update on the design schedules so that the historical subcommittee could start attending those meetings and visit the schools.
Mr. Sautter stated the he recently discussed Glenwood school with a group from the Old West End. The school is about 500 feet outside the historic district but the group still had interest in the plans. Mr. Sautter felt that they were happy with the results of the meeting.
Dr. Sanders stated that part of the property acquisition was to build across from the current Glenwood School, which the district couldn’t acquire so the school will need to be built on the same site and the students will have to use swing space during construction.
Mr. Sautter also mentioned that the contractors took more features from Oakdale so they are reviewing how they can use those features on additional schools.
Dr. Sanders asked if everyone received an invitation for the Ottawa River Grand Opening on Wednesday, August 24. He also announced that for the second year in a row, TPS is in the academic improvement category on their report card. For specific school scores, committee members should check the website.
Dr. Sanders also discussed the series of meetings starting that would involve discussing enrollment projections with the schools that may be impacted. There are seven or eight schools in that situation. Those schools have been moved to later segments to allow time to study the enrollment trends. The district is trying to build enrollment, if the schools are up to 350 students they can be rebuilt. There may be some schools that are K-8. The district has had a lot of discussions and there are no distinguishable academic differences between K-8 schools and K-6 schools. He added that the bottom line is if enrollment doesn’t go up, they can’t rebuild all the schools. The district will work on enrollment and Dr. Sanders believes that it will go up once students start to see how great the new schools are.
Mr. Smith brought up the point that other districts are questioning the OSFC’s methods of determining enrollment projections. He asked if TPS found their enrollment projections to be fair.
Mr. Sautter stated that he believes that the OSFC’s numbers are reasonable, but each district has a unique situation. So far OSFC has been a good partner and they do all they can.
Dr. Sanders said the numbers they offer have validity but they don’t take into account many of the positive aspects that don’t translate into tangible equations, such as the continuous improvement ranking of the district and the districts efforts at increasing enrollment.
Mr. Sautter stated that the wild card is the charter schools. If the district is competitive with the schools they can affect change. The Toledo situation is unique because outside of Dayton, Toledo is the hotbed for charter schools.
The next meeting will be Oct. 19, 2005.
The meeting adjourned at 1:00 and the committee proceeded to tour the new Ottawa River School.