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School Building Maintenance

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VietVet View Drop Down
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    Posted: Jun 24 2011 at 7:30am
Today's Journal...

Older schools need new roof, other repairs

MIDDLETOWN — Middletown City School officials are discussing how to make an estimated $365,000 in facility improvements to areas deemed vital for repair.

The district’s most serious needs, which includes replacing of the roof over the high school auditorium, must be addressed immediately, said Milt Thompson, business manager.

“We never envisioned we would still be in the Vails of the world,” Thompson said. “We’ll have to maintain the infrastructures we have.”

MR. THOMPSON, YOU MEAN TO TELL ME THAT YOU NEVER ENVISIONED THAT EVENTUALLY YOU WOULD HAVE TO DO SOME PREVENTATIVE MAINTANANCE ON THE BUILDINGS AS THEY AGED? YOU ARE IN CHARGE OF THE CONDITION OF THE SCHOOL BUILDINGS, AREN'T YOU? SEEMS WE'VE HEARD THIS MESSAGE BEFORE, AND IT IS USUALLY TIMED WITH AN UPCOMING DECISION FOR A LEVY. I THINK THIS SONG HAS BEEN PLAYED BEFORE. IT IS AN ATTEMPT TO TELL THE VOTERS THAT NOW, BEFORE AN UPCOMING LEVY, WE ARE HURTING FOR MONEY AND NEED YOU TO BAIL US OUT BECAUSE WE DIDN'T USE THE PREVIOUS LEVY MONEY EFFICIENTLY AND DEDICATE A PORTION OF IT TO BUILDING MAINTENANCE. WE WILL NOT MAINTAIN, WE WILL BE PURELY REACTIVE WHEN THE ROOF STARTS FALLING IN.

Thompson said the master plan suggested that funding for a second project would come in the near future. This would have included money to build a new high school where Verity Middle School stands and make the current high school a middle school.

This hasn’t happened, and because those funds are tied in part to enrollment projections — much higher in the early 2000s — Thompson said the district is told it may be another two or three years before additional funding is considered by the OSFC.

THE FUNDS WERE TIED TO ENROLLMENT PROJECTIONS. YOU KNEW ENROLLMENT WAS DECREASING AS PEOPLE WERE LEAVING TOWN AND PULLING THEIR KIDS OUT OF THE SCHOOLS. NEW STUDENTS WERE NOT COMING INTO THE SYSTEM TO REPLACE THOSE LEAVING. THAT WAS A DECADE AGO. NOW, IN 2011, YOU REALIZE THAT THE FUNDING WAS TIED TO ENROLLMENT?

On Monday, Thompson asked members of the Board of Education for permission to dip into the district’s permanent improvement funds — about $1.55 million that has built off interest since the first phase of improvements and is designated for capital improvement.

AND THAT MEANS MORE MONEY OUT WHICH MEANS MORE MONEY IN, IN THE FORM OF A LEVY. THEY ARE COLLECTING THE AMMUNITION TO ASK YOU TO OPEN YOUR WALLETS AGAIN.

In the future, Middletown schools should better plan for regular maintenance to avoid mass amounts of money being spent when equipment breaks down, Thompson said

YA THINK, MILT? A PREVENTATIVE MAINTENANCE PROGRAM WAS ON THE TABLE YEARS AGO. WHAT HAPPENED TO IT'S IMPLEMENTATION? THIS WAS A DECADE AGO THAT THIS WAS TALKED ABOUT. YOU ARE IN CHARGE OF THE MAINTENANCE OF THE SCHOOL BUILDINGS. WHY HAVEN'T YOU PUT TOGETHER A PREV. MAINT. PROGRAM AND GAINED FUNDING FOR IT?

John Sauter, vice president of the Middletown school board and member of the district’s facility committee, said it was imperative the district takes care of existing buildings.

“We have to do something with some of these buildings that are here,” he said.

YES, LOGIC WOULD DICTATE THAT YOU TAKE CARE OF THINGS SO THEY WILL LAST, MR. SAUTER. QUESTION IS, ARE YOU ACTUALLY GOING TO DO IT OR ARE YOU GOING TO TALK IT TO DEATH?
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ground swat View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote ground swat Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jun 24 2011 at 9:31am

Amazing, and while they are "doing something" could someone cleanup the outside of the newer buildings by pulling weeds and removing the dead shrubs, since we had to have $30,000 landscapes around these schools. That also needs a "better plan for regular maintenance". 

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acclaro View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote acclaro Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jun 24 2011 at 12:04pm
Adiffering viewpoint: They never imagined still being in Vail as they were hpoing for a new high school, and two new middle schools to go with all the elementary schools spent which have generated no improvement in results nor added student body. So, the rationale will be in a few years the expense for putting a leby to build a new high school and a new middle school(s) will be maintenance. There is a place and strategy for not maintaing a school when you want to repalce them---you just don't maintain them and spring on the public we have $350,000 or > in costs, better build soe new schools cheapr to maintain.
 
Following that logic, we all should be driving Nissan Leafs (all electronic) if we could afford the initial $40,000 they and a Toyota Prius hybrid sell. That's the failed logic in these arguments, but the rationale for having a large total to spring up to position the next levy cycle.
 
Check out Franklin's middle school which has been there for at least 60 years if not longer; maintained well, new windows, and it gets the job done.
 
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VietVet View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote VietVet Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jun 24 2011 at 2:38pm
"Check out Franklin's middle school which has been there for at least 60 years if not longer; maintained well, new windows, and it gets the job done"

Yeah, Franklin seems to have done the right thing in maintaining the building. Middletown had the replacement windows at Roosevelt landfilled with the rest of the building, didn't they? Probably do the same thing when they demolish Vail with it's newer windows also. Was it cheaper to landfill the newer Roosevelt windows or remove them before demolishing the school and storing them/reusing them on an aging building? The taxpayer didn't get their money's worth out of the Roosevelt window purchase did they?

Good strategy to ignore maint. on the schools, then cry about being too costly to repair...needing new buildings. I just hope the no voters can see through this scheme and go to the polls in large numbers to offset the yes voters who have bought into the crap the schools have been shoveling. Seems when a levy passes, a small group makes it happen as the anti-levy people are too lazy to get up off the couch to register and vote the levies down. As has been mentioned, cutting off funding is the only way to send the message that we are tired of the nonsense.

Ought to be a law that allows only one levy attempt in a calendar year also. You lose, you wait until next year and make do with what you have. None of this going to the voter two or more times a year as some districts have.


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acclaro View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote acclaro Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jun 24 2011 at 7:50pm
Vet, in typical fashion, your views and observations are 'spot on.' No question in my mind many times the news is 'baited' with these false outrage stories about surprise expense associated with the 'unexpected'cost to repair the school roof, an aging street sweeper, a fire station that needs repair, et al, that tee up the next levy. This is one of the cycles that the mention of $350,000 has the hidden message associated with: "jeepers, would it not be cheaper to buy a new school, a new bus, a new street sweeper, to avoid maintenance expense? Of course, what is missing which a sane mind would compute, is the capital outlay and COCD associated with such expenditures. Akin to all of saying we'd love to dump the hot water heater, roof, and electric to put in all solar system, wind turbines, and water collection system to get off the grid to save from paying Dule $500.00/ month. The only problem is the capital outlay is the $60,000 it would cost to put such a system in my house, so I am stuck as the payback is so costly. But school systems and cities don't worry about that issue, they pass it on to the resident that its a cost/ benefit after a 'thorough' analysis.
 
Changing topics as you bring up another excllent point which all would agree, is the apathy of the voter and getting out to defeat tax and school levies, and committees to run opposition campaigns. From what I have been told by many, intimidation is a factor, as....well, lets use a phrase from George Bush about terrorism, in Middletown, "you're either with us or with the terrorists." While not quite terrorists, any opposition to city hall is met with a not so kind attempt to humiliate one, retaliate, or underine credibility. As sj has said often of late, many espouse the doctrine, "if you don't like it, get the hell out of Middletown." Gladly of course, if only,,,,one could sell the house.
 
So, in my view, apathy runs in many forms, and the "intimidation" factor does play a part. Add to that 74% of Middletown is in poverty status, some illiterate and don't care much about anything, other than basic survival, and don't have cars to get to the voting booth and thing an absentee ballot was from the truant officer they thought they escaped before dropping out of Middletown High School (or other institution), and you have the minority winning the elections.In other words, the % of the out of poverty residents whom do vote, 26%, of which form the majority during elections.
 
I have a question I have been struggling with, perhaps pondering with difficulty, over the reason the city is championing the Senior City Center, What is it the city gets out of the deal---voting block, a few pals over there on retirement playing weekend golf with some council members, what's going on? They have the monthly membership, tore the heck out of the rear of the property selling a few hundred tons of dirt to cover the old hospital, and now have the city bailing them out by placing a levy on the ballot? Why? Who is pulling the strings on the Board to get the city to bail them out of the hole? This is the same city that DID NOT approve the TIF, DID NOT support the mail postal service (Les Landen in particular), now jumping through hoops to bail them out, WHY?
 
Finally, really spinning this thread in a different direction, while driving from West Chester the old way down Rt 4, I chuckled when thinking about all the talk about "public safety." Simply drive either east or west from downtown up Central, and look at all the dead tree limbs waiting to fall down on an auto, crushing the unfortunate soul whom may be in its path. Pint peeling on a house comes with a hefty fine from the "revitalization team" but dead trees lingering above many roads on the way downtown are not only eyesores, but neglected public safety traps. Maybe Cincinnati State should send out their arborists and see how safe it would be for their students flocking downtown to avoid a limb falling on them.
 
Then, as I was venturing home through scenic downtown, as it had been ages since I had been down in the area, I saw a few parachutes from the airport flinging gracefully through the air. I though about the camp ground over at the airport being laid out for those whom want to come in and camp, and spend the weekend jumping out of planes. What tax goes with that, or did the city forget that the campground would be taking away from the bed tax for those that might be inclined to stay out at one of the 75 motel chains?
 
sj said it best in one of his posts. It really doesn't matter, in five years, the city will be toast. They'll trim it back to survive on what MUM, the Atrium, and AK gives them, while residential property will sink for years.
 
 Good idea on term limits on levies, same goes for council, one year should be it. In four years, you have a college degree, much too long for a person to maintain an interest and effective or before giving in to the allure and charm of working for the city leadership.                  
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