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Published: Wednesday, 4/6/2005

Maumee: Arts center nears finish, needs funds

BY RACHEL ZINN
BLADE STAFF WRITER

Maumee schools is entering the home stretch on construction of its performing arts center, but the district still needs to raise money to cover costs of the project.

The arts center is on track to be finished by May 13, when the first performance is scheduled to take place in the facility. The center, at Maumee High School, has cost about $4.5 million to construct.

The center was estimated to cost about $3.7 million, so the project is about $800,000 over the original budget, said Paul Brotzki, district treasurer.

The district plans to pay for the center with donations from the community and the sale of Rolf Park to Maumee for $2.45 million. Mr. Brotzki said the district has about $3.4 million to pay for the center.

"We're still raising donations," he said. "We need to have the money by the end of the year, or the school board will have to discuss other ways to pay for the construction."

Last month, the school board started dipping into the district's Pepsi fund to pay for center equipment. The board agreed to pay $15,155 for video projection equipment.

The Pepsi fund contains the district's share of proceeds from the sale of Pepsi products in the schools and at school events.

The district signed an exclusive contract with Pepsi in 1999. The fund contains about $101,800.

Other funds the district could use to help cover costs for the center are the permanent improvement fund, which has about $757,700, and roughly $1 million generated from interest on the bond levy approved by voters in May, 2003.

The center budget is creeping over expectations, but the district is about $1.2 million under budget so far for construction and renovations at its school buildings.

The district is constructing Fort Miami Elementary school and doing renovations at the high school, Gateway Middle School, and Fairfield, Wayne Trail, and Union elementary schools. All the projects are in progress except for the Union elementary renovations, which have not yet started.

These projects are being paid for by the 2003 bond levy, which will collect an estimated $42 million.

"The school board has been pleased with the quality of the work and the budgeting process," said Glenn Rambo, school board president. "I think residents will be pleased with the results and the value of what they got for their tax dollars."



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