A proposed 142,000-square-foot school building for fifth and sixth graders would cost about $35 million, architects told the Perrysburg Board of Education on Tuesday.
The price didn’t surprise the school administration, but it jarred at least one school board member.
“My jaw is still on the floor with the cost,” board member Cal Smith said. “I’m not on board with this cost.”
The district has not selected a location for the new school, but Superintendent Tom Hosler said after the meeting that about 19 acres will be necessary.
The Collaborative architecture firm from Toledo also suggested the district buy land for the fifth and sixth-grade building that would have room to build another elementary school in 10 years when district growth projections show there may be a need for such a new school. One advantage to that strategy would be that a single kitchen could serve more than one school, cutting overall district costs, Mr. Hosler said.
Plans call for the new fifth and sixth-grade building to include an 11,000-square-foot gym and a 5,900-square-foot cafeteria with a stage for performances or programs. The building would hold about 900 students, but could be expanded.
The building would cost about $22.7 million; the land and site development an additional $2 million; and construction contingency, technology, furniture and equipment, professional fees, and miscellaneous expenses would be $10 million more, according to The Collaborative.
Mr. Hosler said that when the administration brought the idea of a new building to the board a year ago the cost was estimated at $33 million to $35 million.
Board president Gretchen Downs said she was taken by a proposed multimedia, broadcasting, and publishing center. Mr. Hosler said those amenities are available at the current Perrysburg Junior High School.
At its June 16 meeting, the school board expects to vote on the specifics for the school proposal, including the size of the building, the details of construction financing, and the estimated millage for a tax levy to pay for it. In July, the board is expected to vote on a levy request to put before voters in the Nov. 4 election.
If approved by voters, the taxes would not be collected until Jan. 1, 2016, when a 1.85-mill levy that was used to build Fort Meigs Elementary expires. The new levy, if approved, would add $84 a year to the $130 a year paid now for the 1.85-mill levy by the owner of a $200,000 home, Mr. Hosler said.
The architects also provided cost estimates for some other district needs that could be covered by the millage from a new levy, including new electrical and air conditioning for the junior high at $2.6 million, a new auxiliary gym at the high school for $2.1 million, and more space for all-day kindergarten and security entrances at the elementary schools for about $3 million.
Besides the 5:30 p.m. meeting June 16 in the Commodore Building, the board plans to discuss the building plans at 7 a.m. June 19 and a 7 a.m. July 1 meeting.