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Published: Friday, 8/19/2011

Schools and money

As local voters display levy fatigue, public school districts must become more creative in finding options to raise money for building projects. Sylvania and Perrysburg districts offer recent examples.

Both school systems have launched fund-raising campaigns for athletic facilities. In Sylvania, a nonprofit foundation seeks to raise $6.5 million for capital upgrades at five schools: new concession stands, expanded stadium seating, weight-training facilities, and track resurfacing. The foundation is relying on business and community leaders to lead the campaign.

In Perrysburg, Schools Superintendent Tom Hosler seeks private donations, not tax dollars, to build a field house on the junior high school campus. Similar facilities have cost about $2 million, he says.

Mr. Hosler notes that exploring new ways to raise revenue is not limited to athletic programs. A nonprofit foundation plans a fund-raising campaign to benefit the fine arts program at Perrysburg High School. Can academics compete with athletics for donor dollars? We're about to find out.

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