Taken from the Botkins Local School 1996 Building Dedication Program
Turning the pages of history back in an attempt to find the origins of Botkins Local School is difficult as organized schools in the Botkins area were in existence as early as 1836 when the first township school was built. By 1870, ten such township schools were in existence. Dinsmore Township No. 2 school eventually became the site of the first Botkins Local School. The original was condemned and closed in 1896. On May 29, 1896, Dinsmore Township voted on issuing bonds for the construction of a new facility. Total cost of the structure was $4,000. As closely as can be determined, the building was completed in 1897. On May 12, 1902, the Ohio General Assembly brought the township schools together as a special school district entitled Botkins Public Schools. Botkins students occupied Township No. 2 school house. The location of this school was at the corner of West State and North Sycamore Street. The first enumeration showed 107 boys and 100 girls of school age. It soon became apparent that additions would have to be added to accommodate a growing community. On Sept. 8, 1909, a contract for $3,911 was let for an addition (two rooms) to the school building. On December 29, 1910, the Ohio Dept. of Education granted a Second Grade Charter (3 year high school). At that time, the school's property value was $10,000 and $3,250.53 was collected in local taxes for school purposes. State funding for Botkins totaled $304.00 and $104.71 was received from other funds. Total expenditures in 1910 were $3,477.53. In 1925, attempts to create a First-Grade High School were made, although an exact date could not be determined.
For the next two decades, the Botkins Community and school continued to grow. A new school was needed to accommodate our students. On May 10, 1955, the community overwhelmingly voted to build a new school (562-115), an 83% margin. The bond was 4.6 mills which generated $340,000. The building was occupied in 1957 and is still today the central part of Botkins Local School.
As time passed, continued community growth again made it necessary to add an addition to the north part of the school. On November 8, 1964, the community agreed by a 381 to 207 vote to add five classrooms and a music room to the existing facility. The bond generated $145,000 and was paid off over a 23 year period.
On November 7, 1983, Botkins voters approved a 5.1 mill bond issue for the construction of new additions to the local school by a vote of 588 to 345. The bond generated $1,293,400. Construction of this facility began in May, 1984, with ground breaking ceremonies. The building was occupied in August, 1985.
On November 7, 1989 Botkins voters again approved a 5.3 mill, $1,8500,000 bond issue. Construction of this facility began in October, 1990. The building was occupied Aug., 1991. A gymnasium with two mezzanine areas, four locker rooms, two offices, training room, four classrooms - (Three are finished), lobby area, and restrooms were included in the project. On November 8, 1994, Botkins voters again approved a 2.3 mill, $2,500,000 bond issue. Construction of this facility began in August, 1995. The building was occupied August, 1996.
The Building Assistance program for Botkins Local School was a dream held by the Administration, School Board, Faculty and Staff, and Community for years. As early as 1986 discussions were initiated with the State Dept. of Education addressing our building facility needs. Over the next nine years the Building Assistance Fund experienced many changes, and we were never really sure whether we were on or off the list. Finally in 1989, our facilities were evaluated, and we were told we were placed thirtieth on a list of 44 schools to be served by the Building Assistance Fund. As the years passes, Mr. Jim Degen continued to actively pursue this source of funding under the direction of the school board.
In June of 1994 the long awaited news arrived - we were officially notified that we were eligible to receive $1,750,000 from the state Building Assistance Fund provided we generated $750,000 in local monies from a 2.3 mill bond levy (1.8 mill local share and .5 mill fund payback). Now the real work began. With the support of a levy campaign committee under the leadership of Eric Santomieri and Brad Reed, several months of hard work began to promote this levy. On November 8, 1994, the community gave their overwhelming support to this issue by a vote of 663 to 264.
On June 6, 1995, the bids were opened. Instead of a day of celebration, it was a day of agony as the bids came in almost $1 million over the allotted $2.5 million. The decision was soon made to make a case to the State Department of Education for additional funding. In July, we received word that we were to receive an additional $873, 010. The Board of Education accepted the bids for the following contractors:
- Beem Construction - General Contractor
- Smith-Boughan - Mechanical Contractor
- Sollomann Electric - Electrical
Included in this project were expansion of the cafeteria/study hall, kitchen area, Vocational Agriculture shop and classroom, Industrial Technology shop and classroom, Vocational Home Economics, art room, vocal music room, renovation of the old gymnasium, science lab, classroom, guidance area, and support services.
This addition was possible because of the persistence of Mr. Jim Degen under the direction of the Board of Education and the united efforts of the community. To everyone who played a part in making our new facility a reality, we express our thanks. Our special thanks goes to the past and present Board of Education, the levy committee, and the people of Botkins who once again put our youth first and made a dream a reality.
On November 8, 2011, the community of Botkins approved a 7.99 mill bond levy to build a $24.4 million facility. This project was co-funded with a partnership between the Ohio School Facilities Commission and the Botkins Local School District. Local share was 25%. 18 acres of farmland was purchased just to the north and east of our current facility. Additional land was purchased so that the main entrance would be located off of State Street. Community members together with the school board and faculty members partnered with Fanning and Howey to design our state of the art 21st century facility. Construction for this facility began with the Groundbreaking Ceremony on April 14, 2013.
The building was completed in December 2014 and was opened to students on January 7, 2015. This building was built to provide a brighter tomorrow and a stronger future for our community.
Victor H. Blanke
Lowell A. Fisher
John W. McClendon
Aldine Weiss, Jr.