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Published: Wednesday, 6/27/2007

Community panel to weigh district building needs

BY ERIKA RAY
BLADE STAFF WRITER

Eastwood Local School District officials want to be ready for state funding if it becomes available earlier than expected.

Through a community committee they plan to create soon, they'll assess whether district buildings should be renovated, rebuilt, or left alone.

They're also moving up the time line for community discussion on facilities to September, four months earlier than planned.

"We're not trying to sway anybody to doing anything," Treasurer Dave Michel said. "We just want the feeling of the community and what they want."

The decision was made after Mr. Michel and Superintendent Brent Welker attended a facilities workshop in Columbus late last month.

There, the two learned that the Ohio School Facilities Commission might be able to speed up its timetable for the funding of school improvements.

Eastwood officials earlier had expected to form a task force in January to gather thoughts from the public, such as whether residents want a bond issue on the ballot to help finance anticipated work.

That timetable was based on the anticipated release of state funds in 2010 or 2011, Mr. Welker said.

"Our problem is multifaceted," he said in a recent weekly update e-mail to the community. "At this time there is no master plan in place that has been thoroughly discussed



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