Welcome to the Kirtland Schools’ Key Communicator e-newsletter. We hope to use this tool as a two-way form of communication to share the good news going on in our classrooms, and also provide you with facts in the event of negative situations. We hope you will act as informal communications liaisons with the community and let us know what you’re hearing so we can proactively provide you with the facts of what’s happening in your schools. Thank you for your support!
KIRTLAND LOCAL SCHOOLS UPDATE 7/14/22
At the July 7, 2022, Special Board of Education meeting, the Board voted and approved the Kirtland Local School District to enter into a shared partnership with Mentor Public Schools to support the Human Resource and Payroll services for our district. The shared agreement with Mentor allows the district access to their robust amount of resources and is a cost savings measure to our district because they are not full-time positions. Our prior shared service with Mentor has been very efficient and has saved tax dollar money; the food service agreement with Mentor was extended at the last Board of Education meeting. These creative measures drive down operation costs and are what led the district to earning the Taxpayer Hero Award back in 2018. A new OAPSE (Ohio Association of Public Employees) contract for the next three years for the classified staff was approved by the Board of Education. The OAPSE members ratified the contract on June 30.
Update and Summary on the Permanent Improvement Projects:
In January 2020, a discussion took place with community members and the Board of Education members to renovate a Kirtland High School science lab, the stadium, and generate some additional revenue to keep up with rising costs of our aging facility. The amount that was needed to do the renovations was calculated by architect ThenDesign Architecture (TDA) at an estimated $4.2 million. The district went on the ballot in May 2020 asking for an increase to the permanent improvement (PI) money and to make it ongoing so it could be borrowed against to cover the cost of the loan needed to complete the renovations while also having additional revenue each year to put towards our aging facilities. The amount asked for, at that time, was enough to cover the anticipated costs. In September 2021, the estimated cost from TDA to complete the science lab and stadium renovation was at $4.2 million. The numerous economic and supply factors that have taken place across our country have affected our projects. Labor shortages, supply chain issues, and the highest inflation in 40 years are currently taking place. For example, the cost of replacing the rubber padding under the playground that was scheduled to be replaced went from $90,000 to more than $237,000. So, we will continue to patch the playground as long as possible to make it safe for our students.
On March 2, 2022, three construction managers at risk (CMR) presented to the Board and a committee. The Board felt it was important to go with a Construction Manager at Risk (CMR) to oversee the project instead of just hiring a general contractor. Going with a CMR locks them into a price to complete the project. With the record inflation, supply chain issues, and labor shortages, using a CMR will prevent the district from incurring any unanticipated costs.Their bids to complete the science lab and stadium renovations came in with totals of at least $6.4 million. The Board asked all three to go back and reduce their scope to bring down the costs for these projects. On April 29, two of the CMRs (one dropped out) presented their updated costs. Marous Brothers Construction rated the best and discussions began on language for a contract.
On July 6, 2022, Treasurer Mr. Lew Galante received the financing information, and presented the information to the Board at the special meeting on July 7. The Board voted to approve the financing of the science lab and stadium over the next 20 years. The PI money the district collects is permanent, so the district can borrow against it to complete these large projects. All the money from the new PI levy approved is NOT going to the science lab and stadium projects. There will be over $30,000 a year of additional PI money to put toward other needed PI projects around the district.
The work on the science lab was scheduled to begin the week of July 11. Materials with long lead times have already been ordered. The lab is expected to be completed prior to the start of the second semester of the 2022-2023 school year. Materials for the stadium will be ordered soon in preparation for long periods of time needed to secure the items. For example, the new visiting bleachers and press box are already an estimated 52 weeks out. The science lab renovation will open up the two small rooms into one larger, improved and functional learning area. The new stadium renovation will include a 70 yard wide turf field, new LED lights, scoreboard, visiting stands (outside of the track), press box on visiting stands and the track will be resurfaced. These projects are expected to be completed by the fall season of 2023. Ordering of materials will begin now because of the long lead times and work on the field will begin in the spring of 2023 so the fall sports season of 2022 will not be disrupted.
The Kirtland Local Schools are known for academic excellence and strong community support, and have been recognized nationally and statewide for educational achievement. The district also maintains a long tradition of distinction in a variety of extracurricular activities. The Board of Education provides open and thoughtful fiscal management of the community’s investment in the school district’s high quality educational program by ensuring every dollar spent benefits students and the community.
The Kirtland Local School District is located in Lake County and serves the City of Kirtland and most of the Villages of Kirtland Hills and Waite Hill, and small portions of Willoughby and Chardon Township.
Board notes and agendas can be found on the website at www.kirtlandschools.org.