Toledo Public Schools officials say the newly constructed Rogers High School, set to open in the fall, appears to be already luring back students who have left the district for other options, such as charter schools.
School leaders yesterday toured the nearly completed $33 million facility, which is adjacent to the existing Rogers, 5539 Nebraska Ave.
"The new building will be a real tool for recruitment," Superintendent Eugene Sanders said. "As you can see, it's going to be fabulous."
The school, which is about 150,000 square feet, has several amenities, including state-of-the-art wireless technology, security, and climate-control systems.
There also will be a theater, art rooms, a photography darkroom, a planetarium, and two gymnasiums - one regulation-size and a smaller one.
Principal Tony Brashear said he sent 188 letters to families with children who should be at McTigue Junior High School but instead attend other schools.
"We have already begun to see a lot of excitement about this new school, from the teachers and the community," Mr. Brashear said.
Although the school district is financially troubled, and closed six schools recently to help reduce a $12 million budget, it is still able to continue with its "Building for Success" program.
Seventy-seven percent of the new construction program is funded by the state and the remaining is paid by local property owners with a 4.99-mill, 28-year property tax levy voters approved in 2002.
That money is dedicated to the building program and can't be used to help balance the district's budget - which has been hit hard because of enrollment loss.
Student enrollment has dropped about 19 percent since the 2000-2001 school year when the district had 37,215 students. The current count is 30,296, and officials are anticipating losing 2,250 students next school year.