Wednesday, Apr 25, 2018
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Libbey, LMHA to partner on middle school

The new middle school for the Libbey High School area will have an attached annex for the Lucas Metropolitan Housing Authority and its child care, health care, and education services, officials said yesterday.

The board of education at its regular meeting last night authorized the district to formally negotiate with the authority for terms of a land lease, operating agreement, and building design.

In addition, the board accepted a settlement for the district's eminent domain suit with Pilkington North America and will pay $1.1 million to purchase 43 acres and the former office and research space at East Broadway and Oakdale Avenue.

The parcel, the former property of Libbey-Owens-Ford Co., eventually will become a new middle school for East Toledo and have athletic fields and a drop-off site for buses, said Dan Burns, chief business manager. It will be used as swing space for Oakdale Elementary School as soon as next fall as the current structure is torn down and a new one is built at the same site.

The new LMHA facility would replace the old Gunckel School at Nebraska Avenue and Collingwood Boulevard. The district closed the structure as a school in 1982, but the housing authority has renovated it and leased space.

When the preliminary plans of the district's $821 million building project called for demolition of Gunckel, housing authority officials were concerned about where they would house their services, including the Maurine Simmons Family Investment Center, which is at that site.

Lawrence Gaster, LMHA's executive director, said the housing authority would pay for new facility. Details of its size and cost are not set.

The deal authorized last night creates a school-community partnership between the district and the housing authority, board members said.

“We'll continue to be in partnership with them,” said board member Larry Sykes, a former nine-year member of the housing authority board. “They've had that facility, and it's been well-received and used by the community. We certainly don't want to cause them any hardship for the services that have been there for the last almost eight years.”

Mr. Gaster said the housing authority would vacate the Gunckel building a few months before its planned March, 2004, demolition, then move back in when the new school opens, likely in September, 2005.

In the interim, the authority's service providers could relocate to other sites.

“It won't be ideal, but it will be a place where they can continue operations,” he said.

In other business, the board:

w Voted to accept a five-year financial forecast that shows the district will face a $14 million deficit next year even with approval of next week's 6.5-mill, five-year operating levy.

w Approved new administrative plans for employee group prescription drug and vision insurance.

Members of the Toledo Association of Administrative Personnel and the cabinet have co-payments of $1 for generic drugs, $20 for preferred, and $40 for brand names.

For American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, the co-payment for prescription drugs is 20 percent up to $20, while members of the Toledo Federation of Teachers pay $1 for generic brands and 20 percent up to $12 for preferred drugs, said Clinton Faulkner, the district executive assistant to the superintendent for human resources.

The amount of co-payments for the vision plan was not available last night.

Mr. Faulkner said the annual savings for the new plans total about $286,000.

w Authorized the administration to negotiate with the Medical College of Ohio for about 30 acres northwest of Arlington and Detroit avenues that likely will be the new Bowsher High School.

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