Lincoln panel forms ideas

Business community members, parents, residents and teachers came together to offer suggestions and make plans for the Tiffin Learning Center during the building committee’s first meeting Monday.

The meeting took place at the former Lincoln Elementary Building.

“We have a lot of work to do,” said Chris Widman, Tiffin City Schools board member and chairman of the committee. “We want to be able to create something we can be proud of and that is conducive to learning for our students.”

The Lincoln building is 22,000 square feet. For the preschool, the district is to utilize five kindergarten classrooms, said Scott Daniel, director of operations. Four of those rooms are 28 feet by 30 feet, he said.

The restrooms must be upgraded to be compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act. Daniel said doors to the restrooms are to be widened to 36 inches.

He said the district is to bring in Brewer-Garrett Co. to assess the building, make sure it meets state building codes and make recommendations.

Daniel said there is a meeting Wednesday to show a Brewer-Garrett representative through the building.

The Richland County Department of Building Codes and Inspections also has toured the building and made recommendations, Daniel said.

The district is to change the occupancy level of the building from a Use Group E-Educational to Use Group I-2 Institutional. This change would allow Tiffin City Schools to operate as a child care facility for students who need help with mobility.

Daniel said the recommendations made from Richland County involve changes to entering and leaving the building from any room, distance to an exit, width of doors, door swing and door hardware; required fire rating of interior corridors, fire alarm requirements, automatic sprinkler requirements; toilets, plumbing fixtures and number of plumbing fixtures; and mechanical ventilation, tamper-resistant electrical outlets and equipment.

During the meeting, several attendees also formulated suggestions for the building’s design. One idea was to have doors leading to the outside from classrooms.

Other ideas included creating a new drop-off area, adding air conditioning, where to place sprinkler heads, and replacing windows in some classrooms.

The meeting went well, Daniel said.

“It was very informative, with ideas and suggestions being made from local professionals within the community,” he said.

Willie Woodruff of J.B. Roofing and Co. gave estimates of roof repairs. The roof above the gymnasium should be replaced, Woodruff said. That would cost around $35,000 and other roof repairs would cost about $57,000, he said.

Woodruff said the lower portion of the roof could be sealed, which could allow another 10-15 years of use.

Tiffin Learning Center is to be open for the 2015-16 school year.

“When we open the building, we have one shot to make it right,” Widman said. “We are thinking of the long-term. We don’t want to just fix the facility to just pass inspection. We want a place where parents can come in and feel comfortable.”

Widman said the committee now is to gather suggestions and work with Brewer-Garrett to come up with designs.

The committee is to meet at 9 a.m. June 9 at the Lincoln Building, 124 Ohio Ave.

People who want to be a part of the committee should call Daniel at (419) 447-2515.