Bowling Green will soon learn what district staff and community members want in their school buildings.
At Tuesday’s board meeting, board member Jill Carr said visualization exercises started earlier this month with teachers will end next Monday.
Representatives from Fanning Howey will moderate the discussion.
The board hired Fanning Howey, an architecture and engineering firm in Celina, in June to design a master plan for the facilities.
A presentation will be made to the school board at its October meeting.
Community members representing all sides for the need for improved facilities are represented, Carr said. Discussion topics included the configuration and location of facilities.
Ryan Myers, a board member, who is also a member of the Facilities Advisory Group, said teachers spent a professional development day earlier this month discussing their vision for the new facilities.
Elementary staff spent the morning discussing options while secondary staff held their discussion in the afternoon.
“For the record, it was very exciting,” Myers said, “just to walk around and listen to the conversations.”
Teachers were asked to consider the Six Cs that students should know: Communication, Collaboration, Creativity, Critical Thinking, Community and Citizenship, and Character and Compassion.
They took each of these Cs and asked groups of teachers three questions: why is this important in the real world, what experiences and activities need to take place for these skills to develop, and what kind of spaces help. to support this development.
“You start to see the enthusiasm in the eyes of teachers when they start to think about it,” Myers said.
They looked at a traditional building, facilities with larger social spaces and learning areas, and contemporary options where it is based on a lab rather than a classroom, he said.
Teachers were asked to put green stickers on what they liked about the education setting and red stickers on options they didn’t like.
Fanning-Howey has collected this data and will begin putting the pieces together, Myers said, in time for the October meeting.
In November 2017 and again in May 2018, a $ 72 million bond issue – paid for entirely by property taxes – failed at the polls. The money was reportedly used to build a new primary school and to renovate and expand the secondary school.
In November 2019, a $ 40 million bond issue to build a consolidated elementary school failed.
The district also learned that it would be allowed to use its Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief (ESSER) funds to purchase split mini-units for the Conneaut and Kenwood elementary classes as well as the high school.
Mini-splits will provide air conditioning to each classroom, but not ventilation. They can be moved if new facilities are built.
The grant is $ 3.2 million. The estimated cost of the project is $ 3.9 million.
Treasurer Cathy Schuller said in a previous meeting that the district hopes to use $ 2.5 million from ESSER funds. The $ 1.4 million shortfall may come from pipeline money, which has a balance of $ 2.6 million, or from carry-over from the general fund.
The board has authorized Fanning-Howey to serve as an engineer for professional design services to assist in the planning and construction of the HVAC system upgrades.