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Published: Tuesday, 5/11/2004

Rossford eyes mobile school units

The Rossford Board of Education is to decide Monday whether to buy two mobile school units, each with two classrooms, and whether to put a new permanent improvement levy on the August ballot.

The board wants more classroom space for next school year, when it is to have all-day, every-day kindergarten for the first time, and Superintendent Luci Gernot predicts more kindergartners than usual for the district. But last night, the board unanimously agreed to table the issue until Monday.

Early in the meeting, David Kleeberger, who joined the board in January, urged other members to consider renovating the former All Saints Church into a kindergarten building over the summer. The district has owned the church for five years but does not hold classes in it and only uses about half the space.

To buy two mobile units at an estimated cost of at least $75,000 seems imprudent, he said, when the district could put that money toward renovating what he called a solid building in a prime location.

Board member Richard Hotz disagreed. "We need to start thinking about new buildings," he said, questioning spending any money on the former church, which has fire damage. "There comes a time when it's not worth putting four new tires on an old car. I think we need to start looking for land to build new."

Mr. Kleeberger said several area schools that have built new buildings are in financial straits, and he hopes to pass the district's permanent improvement levy in August by reminding voters they aren't paying on a school bond issue. For the board to come back to voters quickly with a bond issue would be inconsistent, he said.

Voters defeated the board's request for a 1.5-mill permanent improvement levy in November. The board took the first of two steps last week toward putting a 2-mill continuous levy on the August ballot.

The other three board members - Michael McAlear, Joseph Minarcin, Jr., and Michael Spahr - said they worry there there's too little time to consider Mr. Kleeberger's renovation plan and finish the work before school resumes in late August.

If mobile units are bought, one would be at Indian Hills Elementary and the other at Glenwood Elementary, Ms. Gernot said. Kindergarten classes would be held in the main buildings, and other classes would move to the mobile units.



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