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Published: Wednesday, 9/28/2005

Perrysburg: 2 options explored on school facilities

BY ELIZABETH A. SHACK
BLADE STAFF WRITER

Perrysburg school officials are continuing to debate possible long-term facilities plans.

Earlier this month, the school board narrowed expansion plans to two options, either expanding the junior high or building a school. It will discuss the options at a work session Tuesday.

Both options include turning the Commodore Building into a districtwide preschool and kindergarten building, and both plans include some renovations to elementary schools and the high school.

"I really like the kindergarten [at the Commodore]," board member Gretchen Downs said.

Consulting firms hired by the district project enrollment to grow by about 400 students in the next 10 years.

The first option, which would cost about $36.5 million, is to expand the junior high school, which serves grades six through eight, with a two-story "pod" connected to the building by a corridor on both floors. Adding a pod onto the junior high would also make the building large enough to be used for grades five through eight.

The second option, which would cost $40 to $49 million, is to construct a building for fifth and sixth-graders on district-owned land along State Rt. 199, leaving seventh and eighth graders in the junior high.

Mrs. Downs was concerned that students would have to switch buildings too many times. Students would move to a new school for first, fifth, seventh, and ninth grades.

Board member Barry Van Hoozen said that the new building and the junior high could be used to house fifth through eighth grades after growth in the district. Board member Walter Edinger said that his first preference is to have a fifth and sixth grade building built on Route 199, but having two buildings for grades five through eight is a close second choice.

Mrs. Downs was also concerned that a new building would add space that the district doesn't need. "We're building too much," she said.

Mr. Edinger said the district needs some space to reduce class sizes, and Mr. Van Hoozen said that even if the fifth graders are taken out of the elementary schools, more space is needed for all day kindergarten.

The board plans to put a funding issue on the ballot in May.

Renovating the Commodore Building would cost abut $11.5 million. Depending on which option is chosen, renovations on the Commodore Building could be done in a second phase, meaning the district could wait to ask for that money later.

Renovating and expanding the junior high would be about $8 million. Some renovations, such as enlarging the music room, would have to be done even if the pod is not added.

A new building for grades five and six on Route 199 would be about $15 million.

High school renovations would cost from $1 million to $2 million. Work at the elementary schools could be from $4 million to $8 million.



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