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Published: Thursday, 4/21/2005

Anthony Wayne outlines expansion

Anthony Wayne Local School officials last night presented two plans to expand school buildings at the first of three public hearings.

One involves building a high school; the other involves new elementary and middle schools.

Both are projected to cost nearly $60 million. The district expects to put a 4-mill to 4.9-mill bond issue on the ballot within the next year.

Construction would be completed about two years after the issue is approved by district voters.

Rick Heintschel, executive director of curriculum and instructional personnel, said the millage could be reduced if more people move into the community to share the cost of the expansion.

The district also plans to ask for an operating levy to cover the cost of educating more students.

The district has an enrollment of about 4,100 and expects it to grow by 2,000 in the next 10 years. It only has space for 250 to 500 more students.

The expansion plans would create space for 2,500 more students.

The district has three elementary schools, a middle school, a junior high, and a high school. Some buildings could be expanded, but at least one more primary school is needed.

"We feel we've pretty much utilized all we can utilize out of these buildings," school board Vice President Doug Zimmerman said.

The district owns about 70 acres along Bucher Road for school buildings.

One plan involves building an elementary and a middle school for grades 6 through 8 there at the Bucher site, and combining the current high school and junior high buildings into a high school with an elevated covered walkway. That plan could cost about $56.9 million.

The other involves building a high school on the Bucher land, and that could cost about $59.4 million.

Both plans would expand the bus transportation facility and renovate other buildings.

Some parents were concerned that under the Blue plan, athletes might not play their games at the high school because athletic fields would be on the Bucher campus.

Others worried about the number of times students switch schools.

Mr. Heintschel said that officials are still discussing how to divide the grades among elementary and middle schools.

Two more public hearings will be held at 7 p.m. Wednesday at Waterville Elementary and 7 p.m. May 4 at Monclova Elementary.



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