Monday, April 08, 2002

Schools may look to state for planning

By Sue Kiesewetter
Enquirer Contributor

        FAIRFIELD — Administrators in the Fairfield schools may soon get professional help from the state in planning for future facility needs in the district.

        The board of education will decide April 15 whether to participate in the Ohio School Facilities Assessment Program. Under the program, the state would assign two teams of professionals to the district. One team would look at enrollment, while the other focuses on facilities. There would be no cost to the district.

        “Any time we can gather any information about the district to help us plan - especially at no cost - we want to take advantage,” said Anne Crone, school board president.

        Should the board pass a resolution, consultants would come to the district in May to begin assessing the buildings and gathering data, said Rob Amodio, administrative assistant for business. Enrollment projections would be finished as early as mid-summer with facilities rec ommendations coming at a later date.

        Consultants would prepare a 50-page report on each building and, depending on the board's preference, would receive either one or three options on improvements. In order to get more than one option, school officials would have to agree to a formal presentation, said Mr. Amodio.

        “What this is going to do is give us a good blueprint that we may want to follow or we may not want to follow,” he said. “This is going to be extremely valuable information.”

        Projections from the report would help administrators decide if the district has adequate facilities to begin offering all day kindergarten, said Cathy Milligan, assistant superintendent.

        Enrollment projections and building conditions would also give the district information for preparing for its next operating levy.

        “It's inevitable we'll have one sometime in the next 12 months,” said Mrs. Crone.


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