Final cost projections for a proposed Marietta City Schools construction project have been submitted to the state, and the price tag is $78,725,370 for nearly all new schools.
The district administration and the Ohio School Facilities Commission have agreed on the figure after several meetings and inspections of Marietta High School, the only building that would be kept under the plan, said Marietta Superintendent Herb Young.
"We were at $83 million at one time, so we're in pretty good shape with this," he said.
If the district's voters pass a bond issue in November and the project proceeds, the OSFC will fund 39 percent and oversee the construction.
The local share would ultimately be $47 million, said Young, offset slightly by $800,000 in permanent improvement funds the district would use.
Two new schools would be built and the current high school renovated under the OSFC plan, all on one campus. The new buildings would be a high school and a kindergarten-through-fourth-grade building. The current high school would become a fifth-through-eighth-grade building.
5:30 p.m. Monday, Board of Education office.
The board will vote on a special needs resolution related to the OSFC project that enables them to have a bond issue for more than 9 percent of the district's general fund, the typical cap.
"The idea of that intrigues me," said Marietta resident Tom Ward, 52, who said he will cast a vote in November. "All the teachers could work together... and it would be one district coming together. The cost is a concern, but I actually kind of like the idea of one campus."
The Marietta City Schools Board of Education has taken steps toward putting a bond issue on the November ballot and the official ballot language should be approved by the board in July, Young said.
The millage will be determined at that time but the payment will be over 28 years, he said.
If the issue fails in November, the board can try again at the next election but it will add to the cost of the project, Young said.
"The most cost-effective option is passing it in November," he said. "There's inflation... the cost will increase every April so if it passed in May it would probably cost us another $1.5 million."
With a design phase already beginning, if the bond issue is passed in the fall, the new buildings could start to go up in the spring, Young said.
"We could probably be moving dirt as soon as the weather breaks, in April or May," he said.
Some preliminary plans should be available by August that would give the public a better idea of the one-campus design.
Marietta parent Kimberly Reese said she's waiting for that information before making a decision about the OSFC project.
"I want to know a little more before I decide whether or not to get on board," she said. "I'd want to see the specific plans."
She does think new buildings are needed in the district, she said, something also determined by the OSFC.
The OSFC determines that a building should be replaced if the cost to renovate it is 66 percent or more of the cost to re-build.
Reese said she's not sure that Phillips, Putnam, Washington and Harmar elementary shouldn't be replaced in their current locations.
"It's nice to have schools in your community," she said. "I'm just not sure."