The Swanton Board of Education on Wednesday appeared ready to move forward with construction of an additional two classrooms at Crestwood Elementary School. However, they agreed to delay a vote until a meeting when a formal resolution can be drafted.
Superintendent Jeff Schlade said quotes on the change order to add the additional two classrooms came back higher than hoped but still within the original project budget.
The cost estimate to add the two additional classrooms and storage space to the Crestwood building was about $613,000. The two additional classrooms would be completed after the original project and not before the start of the school year.
The goal for the additional space at Crestwood was about $480,000, which is the amount the cost of abatement at the Cherry Street buildings was under budget.
The project is currently about $740,000 under budget, according to treasurer Joyce Kinsman.
“I’m comfortable if we stay within our budget,” said Kinsman. “I think we can swing the $613,000, but again that wasn’t really the number we had talked about.”
District officials first considered the additional two classrooms after a larger than expected number of children were registered to start kindergarten this fall. Storage space could also be an issue as students are moved from four buildings into three. Schlade added that storage is already at a premium at Crestwood.
“We’ve had an extra room that was available to store stuff,” said Glen Dominique, director of buildings and grounds. “Those rooms are not available anymore, obviously.”
He added that he has looked into storing some things, such as those for Safety Village, in an outside building, but that is not desirable for most items.
“My 2 cents is, i think that it will never be cheaper for us to make these additions,” said board member Steve Brehmer. “We’re already looking at a kindergarten class that is larger than we’ve experienced (recently). And we are at the building’s capacity.
“I’d like to have a formal proposal before I vote on it, but personally I would like to see us go forward with two classrooms and storage.”
Board member Shannon Crow concurred, saying she didn’t want to do a building project that leaves the district with no wiggle room whatsoever.
Several personnel items were approved at the meeting, including a new elementary principal. Kristi Molter was approved, pending receipts of all necessary and relevant credentials.
Molter, a Whitmer graduate, started her career in information systems before receiving a Master of Education degree in elementary and early childhood education from the University of Toledo and completed her alternative license in 1997. She then taught 8 years at Washington Local Schools.
Since 2005, Molter has been with K12, Inc. and Ohio Virtual Academy. She recently served as assistant academic principal for grades 3-8 with the K12, Inc. organization.
Reach Drew Stambaugh at 419-335-2010