VANDALIA — The Vandalia-Butler Board of Education unanimously approved a resolution on Tuesday that will lead to the demolition of the Murlin Heights Elementary building in Butler Township later this year.
Superintendent Rob O’Leary told the board that asbestos abatement would begin in mid-June with the demolition of the building expected to begin in August.
Murlin Heights closed in 2013 as part of the district’s cost reduction plan. Students in grades K-3 were split between Helke and Demmitt Elementary schools while Smith Middle School absorbed students in grades 4-5.
Since the closure, the building has been used for district storage as well as active shooter training by area law enforcement. District staff and board members have expressed concern in recent months about the deterioration of the roof and other structural issues that ultimately led to the decision to proceed with demolition.
In 2014, an appraisal indicated that the land with the building was worth approximately $850,000 but with the building demolished that value was $1.3 million. An update to that appraisal in 2016 said the vacant land would be worth about $1.4 million. The district has began the process to get a new appraisal but those figures were not available on Tuesday.
The asbestos abatement will be done by Ohio Technical Services at a base cost of $101,505. The final cost will vary somewhat due to additional cost contingencies built into the bid.
Demolition will be performed by The Evans Group out of Cincinnati at a cost of $223,327.
The board also declared the week of May 7-11, 2018 as Teacher and Staff Appreciation Week.
“Teachers and staff help students understand the importance of work and their contribution to society,” read a proclamation passed by the board. “We recognize and support our teachers and staff in their mission to educate the children of our community.”
“In the spirit of our upcoming Teacher and Staff Appreciation Week, I’m a bit early, but I would like to thank the elementary schools for their efforts in getting our third graders to meet the Third Grade Reading Guarantee,” said Board Member Missy Pruszynski. “I know that’s a big push and can be a difficult time of year in getting them all through, so thank you.”
In other action, the board approved:
- Out of state trips for Butler Business and Symphonic Choir students
- A supplemental text for Spanish classes at Butler, a media collection list for Morton Middle School, and a course of studies for the music department at Butler High School
- The February and March financial reports
- Multiple personnel items.
During board member comments, Kent Zimmerman thanked Butler Principal Tom Luebbe for the senior recognition night held on Monday.
“I was really touched by the stories that the seniors told of their teachers,” said Zimmerman. “Laughs and tears were shared and it was a delightful evening.”
The Vandalia-Butler Board of Education will hold a work session on Monday, May 14 beginning at 5:30 p.m. The board will hold its next regular meeting on Tuesday, May 29 at 5:30 p.m. Both meetings will be held in the Board Office Board Room.
Reach Darrell Wacker at (937) 684-8983 or on Twitter @VandaliaDrummer.
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