XENIA — Superintendent Dave Deskins has a property site in mind for a future Greene County Career Center, which may be constructed if county voters pass an estimated 1.03 mill 20-year bond in November.
The proposed site is a privately-owned piece of property located in Xenia east of OVCH Industrial Park and Innovation Way. The property sits off US Route 35 between Union Road and US Route 68.
“It’s a good location for us. It has good visibility, it’s centralized for the county and it’s more convenient,” Deskins said. “It’s the ideal location for what we are hoping to do.”
Deskins said his team is in preliminary stages of checking out the property — testing soil and elevation and more — to make sure it is an appropriate, smart spot for a school. But the biggest component, he said, is making sure it is a safe place for students.
“We’re making sure there are no red flags or alarms,” he said.
Deskins said five out of seven of the school districts would be closer or the same distance to that location as they are to the current career center.
“That makes it more conducive for schools in the county,” he said. “Less time in the bus equals more time in the lab.”
The two districts that would be impacted the most by distance is Fairborn and Yellow Springs, who have the advantage now with the school on West Enon Road.
If the levy passes, residents would pay $36.05 per year for a $100,000 home to help with construction and technology purchase costs for the new facility and an expansion in programming.
Current programming would not go away.
“Aerospace expansion is truly that — an expansion into market careers in the region,” he said. “To keep our local workforce strong, to train kids and adults.”
If a new facility is built, Ohio Revised Code determines what happens to the old building. Schools would get first priority to purchase the building, then government agencies and then private industries.
“Our intent is to repurpose the building to use as an educational facility in some capacity,” Deskins said. “That’s our first choice.”
In 2016, the Ohio Facilities Construction Commission (OFCC) determined the 50-year-old building required $24.2 million in structural repairs to bring the building to code. This would not allow for any type of expansion, and the aerospace initative — Take Flight — would probably cease.
The superintendent cited extensive infrastructure issues — due to aging and poor installation of the HVAC system and roofing — as the basis behind the repairs.
“To the typical bypasser … our facility looks well-kept. Our desire to be good stewards can be misleading when people can’t see the infrastructure,” he said. “It’s not due to poor upkeep — just time.”
The board and administration exhausted all other options to finance construction of a building before reaching out to voters for support. The decision to place a bond on the November ballot comes after residents expressed support for the career center’s efforts in a county-wide survey with 500 respondents, all registered voters.
The survey showed more than 90 percent of community members supported the Take Flight Initiative and programming expansion. Fifty-nine percent said they would support funding for the construction of a new facility.
While the bond would fund a significant portion of the new building, GCCC would also contribute a portion of the funding which has been saved over the years due to careful planning, a settlement after a failed HVAC installation, and a small continuing permanent improvement levy.
If the levy fails, Deskins said the board will reevaluate their position.
Contact Anna Bolton at 937-502-4498 or follow @annadbolton on Facebook.