COMMUNITY OVERSIGHT COMMITTEE
Toledo Public Schools Building Program
January 19, 2005
Present: Bill Babcock, James Cobham, Jeanne Emch, Darlene Fischer, Joyce LaVoy, Kevin Smith and Kenny Terry
Excused: Judge Robert Franklin, Jodi Gross, Richard Hodges, Bonita Johnson, Doni Miller, John Martin, Rev. David Morris, Barbara Petee, Steven Ramirez and Ford Weber
Also attending: Dan Burns, Pat Donahue, Roosevelt Gant, Dr. Eugene Sanders, Gary Sautter, Bill Ramsey, and Sarah Foley (recording secretary)
Presiding Chair Jeanne Emch called the meeting to order at noon. The committee approved the December 15, 2004 minutes.
Ms. Emch asked Mr. Smith to give the scheduling committee’s report. Mr. Smith reported that the scheduling committee did not meet last month, however they are preparing for segment two.
Ms. Emch reported that the Robinson bids would go out in a week. She also reported that the finance committee met and asked Pat Donahue, Finance Director of LGB, to speak to the committee.
Mr. Donahue stated that he is eager to work with the Toledo Public Schools on this project. He explained that they are working with the treasurer to merge the Cost summary with the accounting system to be able to do more with the data. He handed out the Construction Costs Summary report and explained what that means to the group. Mr. Donahue also pointed out that many schools do have negative variances on the report, but they have contingency programs to make up for the difference. The budget is tracked on a monthly basis. He also mentioned that they are making budget amendments and balancing the budget through a variety of measures.
Mr. Smith asked why Waite Middle School had a change order and what the basis was for the additional cost.
Mr. Burns explained that it won’t be a change order and that the extra cost is for a bus turnaround, which will be paid for from other funding sources.
Dr. Sanders reported that he is aware that the MBE committee met last week and are in the process of reviewing data for the first quarter report that will be made public at a press conference. Dr. Sanders also reported that the district is committed to making sure that the region and its citizens will benefit from the work that will come from the project’s construction and renovation. They are also very interested in making sure that they include female and minority firms in the project.
Dr. Sanders also mentioned that the district is the first publicly funded project that has taken on the responsibility of including the community in the decision making process.
Ms. Fisher added that the public benefits from the open discussion of MBE, the discussion allows the public to see the trend in businesses and it is important to consider what resources are available. TPS has made it clear that minorities and females need to be included in the field and it is a needed and good thing.
Ms. Emch added that it is important to assure that the promise is being kept of including minorities and women and that this information should be conveyed to the community. She stated that we are starting from a blank slate and doing a good job of reporting to the community. She looks forward to the first report.
Dr. Sanders thanked the committee for their hard work and dedication to including the public and keeping the promises the district has made.
Mr. Terry asked if the legal representation could attend a meeting in the near future.
Mr. Burns said that he believes Mr. Riley, the legal representation, is available for the next meeting.
Mr. Babcock reported that the historical committee is preparing for the next segment and will have an update at the next meeting.
Dr. Sanders is pleased to share that the Third Quarter Report is available in the public libraries, at all schools and available online. He is also pleased to announce that the district has also received another Knowledge Works Grant for area junior highs. And they have introduced a program called Early College High School. In this partnership with the University of Toledo students earn an associate degree along with a high school diploma.
Dr. Sanders also reminded everyone that February starts the proficiency campaign for the district. Representatives will go door to door and anyone interested in tutoring should get involved. He added that this will be a difficult year for students, since they are moving to the Ohio Grad Test.
Dr. Sanders also suggested that they hold a meeting at Ottawa River Elementary School in February or March because they anticipate it opening for next school year.
Mr. Smith asked if the committee was making progress on filling the vacant seats on the committee.
Ms. Emch stated that they will meet on Thursday to discuss this and hoped to have the positions filled shortly.
Mr. Babcock asked for an explanation for the recent Toledo Blade editorial.
Dr. Sanders explained that the district is looking at having concrete block in the exteriors of the building and that there seems to be a common misconception that the concrete blocks will look like cinder blocks.
Mr. Sautter showed samples and photographs of the concrete blocks. He stated that under the new zoning code they must apply for variance for various reasons. The blocks they will be using are called split-faced blocks and are not an inferior material to brick and can be just as attractive, but are cheaper. He explained that the schools would all have curb appeal and 20 percent brick.
Mr. Babcock brought up that Libbey deserves a new school because of the leaky roof.
Ms. Emch mentioned that presently things are better than they were in the past because previously there wasn’t any sort of communication with the community or opportunity for community input. Byrnedale was a good example of this.
Dr. Sanders said that it is important to have an open dialogue at the community meetings as well as involve community members on the design teams.
Ms. LaVoy asked whether the schools would have flat or peaked roofs.
Mr. Burns said that the roofs would have what is called a low-slope, pitched roof. The roof will slope a quarter of an inch per foot and saves money, but the data shows is efficient against leaking. Also stated that Bowsher has been moved up because of the gym and the leaky roof.
Mr. Sautter said that the district must apply for a variance on the building codes in order to use split-faced block. The district originally asked for a blanket variance for all buildings, however they will have to appeal school by school.
Mr. Smith mentioned that he was involved with the process of designing the current Toledo City ordinances. He said that the new rules were designed to allow for appeal by organizations like the schools, because the rules would impact those projects too much. He said that it is good to know that the city is allowing those variances and living up to their commitment.
The meeting adjourned at 1:05 p.m.