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Perrysburg schools OK pact

The Perrysburg Board of Education yesterday voted to give Superintendent Michael Cline a new five-year contract and reviewed a consultant's final report about district facilities.

The board agreed to a new contract with Mr. Cline that will be effective from Aug. 1 through July 31, 2010. He will receive a base salary of $116,000 in the contract's first year, which is a 1.4 percent increase from the previous year. For each of the next four years in the contract, Mr. Cline will get a 2 percent salary increase.

Mr. Cline joined Perrysburg schools in October, 2001.

The board also examined a report from Planning Advocates, Inc., a consulting firm based in Delaware, Ohio, which the district hired to make recommendations on its facilities.

The report recommended that the district consider removing fifth graders from its elementary schools, building a new school to house fifth and sixth graders, and using the junior high for only seventh and eighth grades.

The suggestions are based on growth projections that predict the district will gain between 400 and 500 students over the next 10 years, bringing the district to a total enrollment of about 4,800.

"It won't be dramatic growth, we don't think, but the district will keep growing," said Ron Smith, vice president of Planning Advocates.

The consulting firm found that the junior high school and Fort Meigs, Toth, and Woodland elementary schools are near full capacity, so the district must expand its facilities to accommodate future enrollment increases.

The district has been considering reopening the Commodore Building on Indiana Avenue as a school, but Planning Advocates recommended against the idea.

The report said the building would require new heating, plumbing, and electrical systems, replacement windows and doors, removal of asbestos, roof repairs, and renovations to make it accessible for handicapped students.

It likely would cost more than $16 million to renovate, which probably would be more than a new school building, officials said.

"If you're going to put any money into it, you're going to have to put a lot of money into it," Mr. Smith said.

In other business, the school board:

●Approved a new schedule of fees which pay for classroom materials. The fees for next school year are $16 for kindergartners; $33 for first, second, and third graders; $38 for fourth, fifth, and seventh graders; $43 for sixth graders, and $39 for eighth graders. School fees for high school students vary according to what classes they take, but students pay about $50 each year for required classes.

Board members Ken Widdel and Barry VanHoozen voted in favor of the fees, Gretchen Downs abstained, and Walter Edinger voted against the fees. Board member Mark Schoenlein was not at the meeting.

"I'm concerned about charging fees for required courses," Mr. Edinger said.

The board plans to evaluate the district's fee policies more over the next few months.

●Approved a $30,975 contract with Innovative Controls Corp., of Toledo, for a digital sign to be placed outside the high school. The sign will display announcements of upcoming events.

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