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Published: Tuesday, 10/26/2010

Lake school officials to begin interviewing school contractors


Lake Local Schools next week will begin interviewing builders vying for the task of constructing the district's high school by the 2012-2013 academic year.

Ground for the new high school, on the same site where the former building was ravaged by tornado in June, should be cleared soon, officials said last week during a school board meeting.

"We anticipate that the demolition company will be finished with everything … the middle of November," said Jim Witt, superintendent.

Last week, Lake officials were given a $1,500 check from a fund-raiser at Penta Career Center and another one for $12,200 from the Ohio School Boards Association. The association held a benefit walk and run for Lake last month.

"It was an incredible outpouring," said Timothy Krugh, school board president. "It was a really cool day."

To help build the high school, Lake is receiving $19.1 million from its disaster insurance claim, has received a $4.8 million commitment from the Ohio School Facilities Commission, and was chosen to get $500,000 from the Kohl's Cares contest.

The district also has received donations from other local benefits and sources.

About 450 Lake High School students are attending classes in an Owens Community College building in Northwood.

School board member Eric Hirzel said it is good to see the devastated high school coming down, but it is bittersweet.

"It's progress, and that's what we're looking for," Mr. Hirzel said.

District officials last week praised students and teachers for achieving the Ohio Department of Education's highest rating of "excellent with distinction" for the 2009-10 school year.

"Our district's kind of separated right now, but it's still together," said Margene Akenberger, board member.

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