Bell: City intends to acquire 16 TPS propertiesWritten by John P. McCartney | | firstname.lastname@example.org
After months of discussion with Toledo Public Schools (TPS) personnel, Mayor Mike Bell has formally expressed the City of Toledo’s “intent to acquire” 16 properties TPS no longer uses.
In a letter to Superintendent Jerome Pecko dated March 6, Bell asked Pecko to provide the list of 16 former school sites to the Board of Education (BOE) “so that we can continue our discussion to finalize the property acquisitions.” Bell’s inquiry included the qualification that the purchase of any TPS property will require passage of an ordinance by Toledo City Council.
The properties the city is interested in purchasing are:
- Beverly Elementary; 4022 Rugby Drive, 43614
- Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Elementary; 1415 Lawrence Ave., 43607
- East Side Central Elementary; 815 Navarre Ave., 43605
- East Toledo Junior High; 355 Dearborn Ave., 43605
- Heffner Elementary; 255 Heffner St., 43605
- Jones Junior High; 1320 Broadway St., 43609
- Lagrange Elementary; 1001 N. Erie St., 43604
- Leverette Junior High; 1111 E. Manhattan Blvd., 43608
- The former Libbey High; 1250 Western Ave., 43609
- Longfellow Elementary; 4112 Jackman Road, 43612
- Nathan Hale Elementary; 1700 Shenandoah Road, 43607
- Nelson Grace Park; 1001 N. Detroit Ave., 43607
- Newbury Elementary; 1040 Newbury St., 43609
- Robinson Junior High; 1075 Horace St., 43606
- Sherman Elementary; 731 Sherman St., 43608
- Warren Elementary; 2015 Warren St., 43620
A difference of $832,800
The difference between selling 14 of the 16 properties at the value as assessed by the Lucas County Auditor (LCA) and current market value is $832,800. TPS would generate $1,539,800 if it sells the properties at the LCA’s assessed value and $707,000 at market value.
TPS’ business office does not have dollar values attached to Leverette Junior High and Sherman Elementary. The city’s “intent to acquire” letter also attaches a “subject to previous land swap agreement” condition to the acquisition of three properties — Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Elementary, Longfellow Elementary and Sherman Elementary. Bell also encouraged the BOE to “continue discussion” with ProMedica regarding the sale of McKinley Elementary School, 1901 West Central Ave. The LCA values that property at $108,100.
James Gant, TPS chief business manager, reported to TPS’ Ohio School Facilities Commission (OSFC) Building Committee on March 20 that the contract for the renovation project at Arlington Elementary will not allow the cost to exceed $1.5 million.
Also by contract, the Waite High School science lab renovation is not to exceed $850,000. The original presentation listed the price at $400,000, which Gant said was “an incorrect number from the very beginning. It was always going to cost $850,000. It was just an error in number input.”
Both renovation projects are scheduled to be finished before the beginning of the next school year, Gant said. Gant said an October 2012 change in Ohio school district building law allowed TPS to adopt a “Design/Build” process instead of the previous “Bid/Build” process.
Under the “Bid/Build” process, TPS was required to advertise for bids, establish a deadline for proposals, review proposals and then bring a recommendation from those proposals to the BOE for a vote. Bids were usually submitted by at least three different businesses — architectural firms, construction companies and construction management firms. Gant said that process usually took 90 days to complete. Under that process, TPS would not be able to start construction on either of the two renovation projects until June.
Under the “Design/Build” process, Gant said a team comprised of an architectural firm, construction company and construction management firm submit one bid.
“We can now enter agreement with that team, and there are guarantee processes built in where we won’t experience change orders that could result in an increase in the cost of a building project,” Gant said. “This ‘Design/Build’ process gives us greater control of our dollars.”
Gant said that once a project’s bid is finalized, the district will most likely not allow any changes to be made to construction plans.
“Under the ‘Design/Build’ process, it’s more costly to make changes once the project starts,” Gant said. “And we won’t be able to meet deadlines if we make changes. Time becomes a key issue.”
Contractor Matt Richards agreed.
“Time is of the essence right now,” Richards said. “We need to get everything done as quickly as possible to meet the timeframe and have them open at the start of next school year. And the process for city approval is already in the works.”
Gant said getting city approval prior to the award of the bid is a huge advantage of the “Design/Build” process because it cuts significant time off the process.
“Companies bidding for the work do the groundwork with the city for planning ahead of time in case they get the bid,” Gant said.
Gant closed the OSFC Building Committee meeting by informing BOE member Lisa Sobecki that he had invited a representative from Mosser Construction, Inc. because a claim has been filed on the construction of the Waite renovation project.
“We received a claim at 4:38 p.m. today,” Gant said. “I was unable to review it and make a recommendation for this 5 p.m. meeting.”
Sobecki told Gant to review the claim review with legal counsel and make a recommendation. If Gant decided that recommendation needed BOE approval, Sobecki told Gant he had her approval to bring a walk-in resolution to the general business meeting, March 26.
- Gant also reported an increase of almost $100,000 in the Total Capital budget from last month.
“That’s because we made improvements at the Boys and Girls Clubs at a few of our schools that they are paying us back for,” Gant said.
The BOE will hold three meetings in the next two weeks.
- The regular monthly business meeting is scheduled for 5:30 p.m. March 26.
- A special meeting is scheduled for 5 p.m. March 27 at which board members will review interim superintendent applications in executive session. Treasurer Matthew Cleland said that after BOE members finish their executive session discussions, they will return to “regular, open session, discuss the interim superintendent position and possibly select an individual to serve as interim superintendent.”
The application deadline is 4:30 p.m. March 22.
- A special meeting is scheduled for April 3 to review the performance audit from Evergreen Solutions, LLC.