Thursday, December 19, 2002

Superintendent: Bond issue is possible to fund Kings schools' campus renovations



By Erica Solvig
The Cincinnati Enquirer

DEERFIELD TWP. - Renovations and additions to Kings' high school and junior high campus - possibly including a performing arts area with larger music room and auditorium, a centralized kitchen with separate serving areas and improved athletic facilities - could cost up to $40 million, school officials estimated this week.

The preliminary renovation ideas are part of a long-term plan being developed by Voorhis Slone Welsh Crossland Architects of Mason.

To fund them, the district could be looking at a bond issue - "probably in the low 4-mill range" - on the ballot next year, Superintendent David Query said at Tuesday's board meeting.

Part of the bill also could be covered by the Ohio State Facilities Commission, which says Kings needs to make at least $22.5 million in improvements to keep up with its growth.

"This is not in final form," Mr. Query said of the preliminary redesign. "This is certainly a workable plan."

A community forum is being scheduled for January.

The construction would take about two years, said Earl Crossland, a partner in the architectural firm.

The district also is discussing expanding the campus' 63-acre site by leasing or purchasing 32 acres from its neighbor, Paramount's Kings Island. The space might be used for practice fields.

Mr. Query said the details could be final "any day."

"The Kings Island transition or acquisition of land is very much alive," he said. "It couldn't have come at a more opportune time."

Voorhis Slone Welsh Crossland was hired for $24,700 in August to assess the campus. The junior high was built in 1967; the high school was built in 1989 and expanded in 1996.

The final recommendations will be made next month.

E-mail esolvig@enquirer.com




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