Tipp City BOE hears from architects


TIPP CITY — The Tipp City Board of Education held their regular session meeting Monday evening at 6 p.m. The main portion of the meeting was presentations from the two architects bidding for the multiple upcoming projects within the school district, Ruetschle Architects Inc. and Garmann Miller.

Each company sent representatives to give the board a brief presentation on why they should choose their company for the school building projects.

Garmann Miller sent Eric Baltzell and Wayne Coleman to attend Monday’s board meeting. Their brief presentation focused on their open, community-driven process for creating a master plan. Baltzell and Coleman explained their specific goals to help the community become involved in the planning process including the formation of a facilities task force to be the middle man for passing information between the community and the Board of Education.

Alongside the task force, Garmann Miller would help start community meetings to encourage members of the community to come and express their concerns and opinions about the project throughout the entire process. Baltzell and Coleman also assured the board that community meetings would not be the only way the company reaches out to the community. They presented different options such as, surveys, mailers, social media, a district website for the project and even having representatives of Garmann Miller attend appropriate district events.

Garmann Miller also has a full marketing and graphics team that will work to create multi-platform information to share with the community such as an animated video to show the board and community what the project should look like when it is finished, door hangers to pass out around Tipp City and other methods that the company and the board can create together.

K-12 design are the main jobs Garmann Miller takes on, they have worked with multiple schools in nearby districts; Bethel, New Bremen and West Carrollton were a few of the schools Baltzell and Coleman mentioned.

Ruetschle Architects Inc. sent brothers Mark and Mike Ruetschle to Monday’s meeting to present why the company feels Tipp City Board of Education should choose them to create and carry out a master plan for the renovations or construction of school buildings in Tipp City.

Ruetschle Architects specialize in K-12 building projects and have recently finished work on the Milton-Union pre-K-12 building and Northmont High School and pre-K-1 buildings. They are well aware of aspects outside of the building that architects should consider when building a new school and are sure to include things like staff parking, bus routes and parent drop-off/pick-up when planning the construction of new school buildings.

Last spring Ruetschle Architects worked with the facilities committee to work out four potential plans:

• Five building solution that would renovate the buildings, but essentially leave them as they are;

• 2019 plan that included an addition to LT Ball Intermediate School for grades pre-K to 5;

• A pre-K to 2 addition to Broadway Elementary and LT Ball Intermediate would then be for grades 3-5 by adding an addition and fixing classrooms that do not have windows and other issues;

• Constructing new buildings.

“We are not biased toward plans. We are here to provide information, pros and cons and options. Ultimately it’s the board’s decision,” said Mike Ruetschle.

Mike and Mark also went through multiple reasons why the board should hire their company; institutional knowledge, quality of their work and their ability to work quickly due to being pre-positioned from previous discussions. The longer the board waits to get the project started, the more money it is going to cost the district and tax payers.

Their goal is to have a proposal go before voters in May of 2023 and, provided the proposal passes, completion of the project is projected to be in June of 2026. Ruetschle Architects has already laid out a work plan based on what they believe is their most challenging proposed plan.

Ruetschle architects, Inc. would plan on creating a community forum to be held periodically throughout the life of the project to give community members a way to be involved and have a say in the plans. They would also plan on receiving feedback from teachers and administration by sending representatives to staff meetings throughout the duration of the project.

In other business:

• The board heard reports on the MVCTC meeting minutes which include updates on the new nursing program and construction of the new buildings.

• Superintendent Mark Stefanik commented on the 2022 state report cards and informed the board they should expect to hear from school administration at their October work session meeting.

• The board heard from Treasurer Melanie Fox on the monthly budget and it was determined by legal representation that the board’s policy does not require the board to vote to approve the monthly budget.

• They approved an appropriations amendment for year 2023.

• The board approved the transfer of $5735.70 from the high school principals account to a new account for the high school newspaper so that funds for the newspaper would no longer need to go through the principal’s fund.

• The treasurer updated the board on public records requests.

• The board approved amendments to the superintendent and treasurer compensation contracts that would increase their compensation by 1%.

• Passed multiple items on the consent agenda, which can be viewed at https://go.boarddocs.com/oh/tipp/Board.nsf/Public.

• The board approved acceptance of $1,550 from the cross country at Tippecanoefund in memory of Dave Lightle to support the Tippecanoe High School cross country invitational.

• Board approved the acceptance of $10,048 in grant dollars from the Tipp Foundation. A total of $3,450 of it is going to purchase a xylophone for the high school; $5,000 will go to drone soccer kits at the middle school, and $1,598 will go to literacy across curriculum at the middle school.

• Passed the hiring of a substitute medical nurse via Premier Community Health at $55/hour with a three hour minimum.

• The board heard from Superintendent Mark Stefanik and Treasurer Melanie Fox on their goals for the upcoming school year and decided to table to discussion until their next regular session meeting.

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