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Published: 4/24/2001

Ada schools seek 1st building levy in 30 years

BY KIM BATES
BLADE STAFF WRITER

ADA - As a student at Ada High School in the 1940s, Robert Hubbell took tests and watched sporting events in the same facilities where students attend class today.

But Mr. Hubbell, 71, is not nostalgic about the possibility of seeing those classrooms demolished if voters approve two 27-year bond issues that total 7.9 mills on the May 8 primary ballot.

“The time has come to build a new facility. After all, the requirements for the classrooms and things like that are a little different than they were 50 or 60 years ago,” said Mr. Hubbell, a co-chairman for the levy committee. “There's so much more available to the students today than we had.”

For the first time in 30 years, the Ada Exempted Village School District has placed a levy for building construction on the ballot. The last new tax was approved in 1971 for construction of a wing for the K-12 school complex, said Superintendent Sam Beckley.

The first request asks voters to approve 5.7 mills to build a K-12 school and related facilities. It would replace the 1929 high school and other buildings from the 1950s, and cost the owner of a $100,000 home an additional $179.64 more annually.

The only buildings the district would keep are its 1971 wing, the 1986 elementary gym, the agricultural/industrial arts building, the band building, and the bus garage.

The second tax proposal seeks passage of 2.2 mills to build a 550-seat auditorium. It would cost the owner of a $100,000 home $69.94 more a year.

Mr. Beckley said school officials received approval from the Ohio School Facilities Commission recently for the project. He said the district will need to pass a levy by June, 2002, or the state's funding will expire.

“We would really like to pass this thing,” said Ron Wyss, co-chairman of the levy committee. “It's a real opportunity with the state funding.”

Mr. Wyss said committee members met last night and plan to meet again at 7 p.m. tonightwith interested residents at the school's multipurpose room. He said the reason for the gatherings is to train up to 120 volunteers who will visit area homes with information about the tax request.

If approved, the K-12 facilities would include additional educational space, a larger cafeteria, an auxiliary gym, multipurpose fields, and other amenities.

Mr. Beckley said the auditorium would have a 2,800-square-foot stage and quality acoustics. If the two projects are approved at the same time, he said the district would save about $1.3 million on the auditorium because the plan calls for using spaces proposed in the new school.

The superintendent said students could move into the facilities in the fall of 2005, if everything moves forward as planned.



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