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Published: 9/4/2003

Summer '04 eyed as start for building, renovations

BY JANET ROMAKER
BLADE STAFF WRITER

Maumee City Schools officials are planning for the district's $42 million construction and renovation project to get started in summer, 2004.

First on the list: a new Fort Miami Elementary School, followed closely by construction of hallways and classrooms at the middle school, high school, and Fairfield and Wayne Trail elementary schools.

“We possibly could have five projects going on simultaneously,” said Superintendent Greg Smith.

Residents, who in May approved a bond issue and operating levy to fund and support the construction and upgrades, can attend a public forum at 7 tonight at Gateway Middle School to learn more about the project and timetable.

The presentation will take about 30 to 45 minutes, and a “break-out area” will follow, when residents can review details about improvements proposed for each of the buildings, the superintendent said.

Architects from Duket Porter MacPherson and SSOE have been spending time with building committees made up of teachers and administrators in each of the school buildings. Information gathered during those sessions will be included in the presentation.

The project is heading into the schematic design phase. “They will start to develop more detailed plans,” Dr. Smith said.

School officials hope to see the project go out for bid in the spring, and construction could get under way soon afterward.

“Our idea,” he said, is to “move at a good pace to be responsible to the taxpayers.”

Union Elementary's interior will be renovated, Dr. Smith said, and some of the ideas for that project will be presented during the forum. The school probably will be the last in the district to get attention from construction crews, he said.

Discussions are continuing between school and city officials about the possibility of shifting the location of the new Fort Miami school to a parcel of land along River Road now owned by the city.

To keep the project on target for next summer, the location needs to be decided by the end of the month, the superintendent said.

The River Road property would provide more options. It is a better location, and it would be safer to build there, he said, noting that if the new school is built behind the old Fort Miami building on Askin Street, construction crews and equipment would be moving in and around buses, parents' cars, and school children. The River Road property has extra space so that a one-story school could be built.



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