By Matt Clevenger
TROY — Members of the Troy City Schools Board of Education heard an update on upcoming renovations to the Troy High School and Troy Junior High School libraries during their monthly meeting held on Thursday, Nov. 16.
“The timeline to do the demolition is over winter break, when the students leave the building,” Mike Ruetschle of Ruetschle Architects said during a presentation to board members. “Our completion date is in March, so hopefully we’ll get this done by the spring break time-frame.”
Students will still have access to the library during the projects, although services might be limited.
“Our librarians are amazing,” Troy High School Principal Alexis Dedrick said. “They have such great ideas to make what we need accessible.”
Board members saw samples of carpet and flooring materials to be used on the projects, which will include new flooring and furniture as well as electrical upgrades to both libraries. Ruetschle also presented proposed floor plans for both projects.
Plans for the high school library include new carpet and flooring, new furniture and the creation of new small group rooms. The circulation desk will also be moved, and metal panels that currently cover much of the library’s window space will be replaced with glass.
“We’re going to open-up all those metal panels and add glass all the way to the ceiling,” Ruetschle said. “There’s some flexible seating; it should be a lot more open and exciting.”
The junior high school library will be re-arranged, Ruetschle said, creating group seating in the middle of the library space.
“We’re kind of flipping the room,” he said. “It’s going to provide a lot more space for students.”
“It looks amazing,” Board President Sue Borchers said of the proposed floor plans. “I think it’s going to really brighten things up.”
“It’s been a nice team effort to get this rolling,” Assistant Superintendent Dr. Michael Moore said. “This is one more way that we can continue to enhance our secondary learning environments, to modernize that for our children.”
Board members went on to approve a resolution awarding a $677,800 contract for both projects to Arcon Builders LTD. Arcon Builders’ cost was approximately 25 percent less than the projects’ other bidder, district Treasurer Jeff Price said, and the cost will be covered by federal Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief Fund (ESSER) funding.
“These are federal relief dollars that we have found a use for that’s going to last for years, and it’s going to impact student learning in a positive way,” district Superintendent Chris Piper said. “There’s no cost to our taxpayers locally.”
In other business, board members also voted to approve a series of minor policy changes, and a resolution authorizing payment in lieu of transportation for two students. Board members also approved an upcoming Varsity Baseball trip to Lexington and Richmond, Kentucky in March of 2024.
Board members also postponed a vote on a resolution asking the Miami County auditor to certify matters regarding the renewal of an existing permanent improvement levy that will appear on the ballot in 2024.
“This is a fairly routine action that we take whenever a levy is set to expire,” Board member Doug Trostle said. “We require two steps to place it on the ballot for renewal; the first step is to ask the county auditor to verify what it’s value would be, and then the second action following that would be to ask the board of elections to actually place it on the ballot.”
“It is simply a renewal; it’s not asking for any new money,” Price said. “Unfortunately, it’s falling right on the heels of us having just been on the ballot.”
“This is the first of four renewal levies over the next three years,” he said. “This is a permanent improvement renewal; the next one is a 5.9-mil operating renewal, and then a 5.8-mil operating renewal.”
“We don’t intend to ask for any new or additional money,” Price said.
Board members will vote on the resolution at an upcoming meeting that will be scheduled sometime later this month, Borchers said. The board’s next regularly scheduled meeting will be held on Monday, Dec. 11.