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    Committee recommends plan for new BCSD schools

    May 26, 2023

    After eight months and six meetings, the BCSD Community Facilities Committee recommended a plan to build new Bedford City School District school buildings to provide students with modern schools equipped with state-of-the-art technology.

    The Bedford Board of Education is expected to determine if it will place a bond issue on the November ballot to fund the project.

    The estimated cost is about $161 million. The average age of BCSD school buildings is about 74 years and the estimated cost to maintain existing buildings over the next 10 years is roughly $174 million, more than the cost to build new.

    The district hasn’t asked voters for new money since 2009.

    Superintendent Dr. Cassandra Johnson said the students and community of the Bedford City School District have waited long enough for a state-of-the-art learning environment.

    “For years, our students have watched as their counterparts in surrounding school districts have gotten new school buildings with all of the latest technology and updated amenities,” she said. “They’ve waited long enough. It’s their turn."

    First, a new high school with a career-technical education area will be built at the current Bedford High School site, a new sixth through eighth-grade school will be constructed on the site of the former Chanel school; and a new pre-kindergarten through second grade school with additional classrooms to expand preschool will be built on the Heskett site. 

    Offices of the Bedford Board of Education and Central Office will move into the building at the Chanel site. The existing high school, Central and Glendale Primary schools, Carylwood and Columbus Intermediate schools and the Central Office/BOE Offices will be demolished.

    Later, a new third through fifth-grade school will be built on the Columbus Intermediate site and Heskett will be demolished.

    If the Board of Education decides to place the bond issue on the ballot, the exact millage will be determined by the county auditor’s office, but the plan is estimated to cost less than $1 per day for each $100,000 in home market value.

    The district is working through an Ohio Facilities Construction Commission program, called the Expedited Local Partnership Program (ELPP), that would pay for part of the building project costs within certain guidelines. 

    The District hasn’t determined if participation in the ELPP program is the best path. If the District participates, the state of Ohio will reimburse the district for 21% of eligible costs.


    Committee lays foundation for BCSD’s Building a Brighter Future Project


    Nov. 7, 2022

    Dozens of members of the BCSD Building a Brighter Future Project Committee continued their work, focusing on enrollment, partnerships and career-technical education.

    The group met to hear a presentation regarding career tech and partnerships, as well as enrollment and potential grade banding for elementary schools.  The group then divided into subcommittees with each having a robust discussion focused on a topic.

    The group then came back together to share views for what works well in the district, where improvements may be needed and how they believe our schools can best serve students, families and the community now and in the future.

    These discussions and perspectives are critical because the recommendations will impact space and technology needs for the future building project.

    In 2023, the committee will make recommendations to the Bedford Board of Education regarding a plan to address the district's aging and expensive-to-maintain school buildings.

    The district is working with the Ohio Facilities Construction Commission and expects to ask voters to approve a bond issue likely in 2023 to finance a portion of the costs. If the district moves forward within OFCC requirements, the state would cover 22% of the project cost.

    Superintendent Dr. Cassandra Johnson says our students and families have waited long enough and the district must make improvements.

    “Our students have seen their counterparts in surrounding districts get new, state-of-the-art buildings,” she said. “Our students deserve that too. In fact, it’s our responsibility to provide it to help them succeed and be competitive after high school graduation — whether they choose to go to college, enroll in a trade school, join the military or enter the job market.”

    The committee will meet again at the end of November to continue moving the process forward.



    BCSD | Building A Brighter Future

    The Bedford City School District is reviving the community process to review and make recommendations to address our aging buildings.

    The current six school buildings range in age from 53 to 117 years old and are outdated, inefficient, and don’t provide the quality of education our students deserve. Roofs leak, many buildings are not ADA compliant, and major systems like HVAC and windows have past their useful life and need to be replaced.

    Dr. Cassandra Johnson, Interim Superintendent, said the district must move forward and decide how best to serve students and ensure they're prepared to compete in a global market.

    “Our students deserve facilities that prepare them for life after graduation and updated buildings are overdue. Our students deserve an excellent education and to learn in 21st century buildings. Our neighboring districts have upgraded buildings and now is our time," she said.

    A 2018 report found deficiencies across the district; from facilities that have aged beyond their useful life to security, electrical, plumbing and heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems. These aging systems are costly and inefficient. The district will determine how to plan for the future by engaging the community and listening to stakeholders.

    "Our students deserve facilities that prepare them for life after graduation and to be on a level playing field with their counterparts who graduate from neighboring school districts," Dr. Johnson said.

    The district is reinstating our Facilities Project Committee, sidelined by COVID in 2020. The district is in the process of selecting an architectural firm to help with the planning process. The Facilities Project Committee will meet up to five times this fall and winter and will hear from architectural, financial, and educational experts about possible options and costs. Ultimately, the committee will make a recommendation to the Board of Education about the best path forward. The Bedford Board of Education, with recommendations from both the committee and district leadership, will decide how buildings should be constructed, including the number, location and grade alignment. It is anticipated that any facilities plan will require asking voters to approve a bond issue in 2023.

    Our district will continue providing updates on district happenings, including the facilities process, and taking community feedback. To sign up for our enewsletter, please click here: