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NELSD Hosts Community Update and Forum on Facilities Construction Project

The Northeastern Local School District will host a Facilities Construction Project Update and Forum on Monday, May 24, providing an opportunity for the community to share their thoughts about how to use available funds from the project coming in under budget.

During the session - which community members can join in-person or virtually - district leaders will provide an update on the work at the construction sites, gather input about how to use the project’s savings, and discuss possible avenues for the existing building after the new facilities open.

The project is currently $2.1 million under budget, largely due to downturns in the construction market due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The facilities project is currently 1.75 percent under budget, after being an estimated 18 percent over budget 18 months ago. The district has also earned about $3.3 million in interest income to date.

“This is a great opportunity for our community to enhance the facilities for our students and residents and to make the most of their generous investment in the future of the Northeastern Local School District,” said Superintendent John Kronour. “We are looking forward to sharing this exciting update with the community and hearing their thoughts about the best way to utilize these savings.” 

    The Facilities Construction Project is a funding partnership between the district and the state’s Ohio Facilities Construction Commission, with about 40 percent of the basic costs for the project coming from the state. The community agreed to fund the local portion of the project by passing a bond issue in May 2018.

    The budget for the project, which will construct two new PK-12 campuses in the district, is about $118 million, which includes  $17 million for locally-funded initiatives that are priorities for the local community and not included in the state-determined basic costs of the project.

    Throughout 2019 and 2020, the district worked diligently to rein in costs due to sharply increasing construction costs. When the projects went to bid during the COVID-19 pandemic, downturns in the market helped the project come in more than $2.1 million below budget. This includes buying back all alternates, or additional features that the district hoped to include but eliminated to ensure the project would be within the available budget.

    About $1 million of that savings and interest will be set aside for contingency; the remaining $4 million in funds can be directed toward additional projects. Some possibilities include a support building for the Northeastern Athletic Complex, turf fields at both campuses, shelter houses for outdoor learning, and bleachers at the Kenton Ridge site. 

    Community members can join the forum at 6 p.m. on Monday, May 24 online through Zoom or in person at Kenton Ridge High School. Click here to join the meeting virtually on Monday, May 24.