TCS to reopen Lincoln building

Two years after the building was closed, Tiffin City Schools is to reopen the Lincoln Elementary building.

The building is to serve as the district’s preschool building. The building is to be opened for the 2014-15 school year. It is to service preschool students, including those with disabilities.

Lincoln was closed at the end of the 2011-12 school year as a way to reduce district expenditures to balance the budget, according to Scott Urban, director of instruction and personnel for TCS.

“Lincoln Elementary School served a valuable role in the district, but was closed as a cost-savings measure. By operating our own preschool program and re-opening Lincoln, the cost savings are even greater,” said Superintendent Vicki Wheatley.

For 20 years, the district contracted services to the North Central Ohio Educational Service Center and preschool children attended school at the Family Learning Center located at Sentinel Career and Technology Center, Wheatley said.

“When contracting with outside agencies, cost containment becomes an issue,” Wheatley said.

Wheatley said a cost analysis was completed. Findings, she said, indicated the savings would be about $300,000 annually.

The district has sent letters to students and families that have left the district and enrolled in charter, community or open enrollment schools, inviting them back.

“The letter encourages those students to return and asks parents to meet to discuss why they left,” Wheatley said.

According to a release provided by the district, TCS loses about $1.1 million for students who are enrolled elsewhere.

Wheatley said the district is to meet with the Ohio Department of Education next week to go over the building to make sure the district has everything that is needed.

The district has maintained the building since it was closed. At the time, Urban said the district did not have the funds to tear it down or sell it.

“We did not want the building to deteriorate, and if we could not sell or rent the building at a marketable price, we wanted to make sure the building was maintained,” Wheatley said.