Beavercreek BOE approves construction, cuts pay-to-play fees

BEAVERCREEK, Ohio (WDTN)- Beavercreek City Schools’ Board of Education is moving forward with several projects to update aging facilities and it’s slashing pay-to-participate fees for students.

With $5 million remaining after the completion of its 2008 bond-funded facilities program, the BOE voted Thursday night to approve four construction projects:

  • An 18,500 square-foot preschool addition to the current BOE offices, located on the corner of Kemp and Hanes Roads
  • A 7,500 square-foot gym and community gathering space at Shaw Elementary
  • A covered, non-enclosed walkway connecting Beavercreek High School to Ferguson Hall, which serves as home to 9th graders
  • Athletic facility improvements to Coy Middle School, to include a storage building, scoreboard and baseball/softball dugouts

District leaders say those project will be paid with money from the remaining bond surplus and existing permanent improvement funds.  Ohio law states that funds allocated for a bond issue can only be used for permanent improvements, not for school district operations.

No additional dollars will be requested from the community.

All projects were discussed in Community Forums held recently at Trebein and Parkwood Elementary Schools.

At the meeting, the BOE also voted to cut pay-to-participate fees for athletics and extra-curricular activities. The new fees will go into effect for the 2014-2015 school year.

Right now, high school students pay $300 per sport, with an individual cap of $600 and a family cap of $750.  The fees rank among the highest in the Greater Western Ohio Conference.  The fees will be reduced to $150 per sport, with an individual cap of $300 and a family cap of $450.

Middle school students currently pay $200 per sport, with an individual cap of $400 and a family cap of $750.  They will pay $100 per sport, with an individual cap of $200 and a family cap of $450.

Fees will be eliminated for activities such as BHS Academic Team, Beaverettes Dance Team, Speech and Debate, Marching Band and Show Choir.

Beavercreek’s 5-year 6.3 mill emergency levy for operations narrowly passed last fall.  A final recount resulted in the levy passing by nearly 90 votes.

The levy success meant the school board could restore busing for high school students and restored elementary music, art and gym.  It also allowed the district to secure support staff to meet third grade requirements.  It is expected to generate $10.3 million annually.

It was the fifth attempt by the district in the past 2 1/2 years to get voter approval for new money for the schools.

“For some time we’ve had to increase that pay to play in order to insure that we were being good fiscal managers and balancing our budget and you know, it’s very important for our kids that they be well-prepared for the workforce. or to go onto higher education and those extracurricular activities make a big difference on a college application, as well as a work application,” says board president Al Nels.

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