Large-scale school renovations are a massive and costly decision for a community usually undertaken with the help of state reimbursements for costs, but in some cases those projects don't fit pre-defined state guidelines.
In those cases, a school district can request a variance.
The project to convert Sheffield Middle High School into a K-12 facility is one of those cases.
The Warren County School District is currently awaiting state approval for a variance to what is known as the "20 percent rule".
Under the rule, to be eligible for state reimbursement of construction costs, an alteration project must cost at least 20 percent of the total cost to replace the facility being altered.
The cost for the Sheffield K-12 alterations do not meet this requirement.
"It's a building that's in pretty good shape," District Director of Buildings and Grounds Services Dr. Norbert Kennerknecht said.
Under another school renovation reimbursement guideline, the "20-year rule", a building is only eligible for reimbursement of a construction project once every 20 years.
As a result, the district had to prove to the state the rest of the facility would last another 20 years in order to obtain the variance.
To that end, Kennerknecht said, a video was made to be sent to the state showing them the state of Sheffield.
There are, however, some things that won't last another 20 years at the building. Kennerknecht cited the boiler and external lighting at the building as examples.
Since the school won't be eligible for another reimbursable project for two decades, the district intends to wrap those things into the current project where they can receive reimbursement for them.
"We figured, why not take care of those things that won't last another 20 or so years while we can," Kennerknecht said. "We're trying to be conscious of costs and the state is looking at things with us."