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Published: Thursday, 10/19/2006

Washington schools may face $10.3M deficit by 2010

Washington Local Schools could face a $10.3 million deficit by 2010, the Board of Education learned last night.

Also during the meeting, the board received a report from an architectural firm estimating the cost of a major renovation to Whitmer Memorial Stadium at $2.75 million.

According to a five-year financial forecast, which is required annually of all school districts in Ohio, the deficit would increase to more than $28.2 million by 2011. Treasurer Jeff Fouke told the school board the state's elimination of personal property tax and abatement revenue would be a significant revenue loss for the district.

"Our expenditures continue to outpace our revenue and that is a major cause of concern," Mr. Fouke said.

Craig Stough of Stough and Stough Architects in Sylvania presented the board with his estimates for the Whitmer stadium renovation.

On April 19, the board hired the firm for up to $2,500 to assess the stadium and its facilities.

The firm's proposal estimates the district would spend $600,000 for artificial turf; $350,000 to replace the east bleachers; $50,000 to widen and restripe the track; $1.5 million to demolish the existing building at the north end of the stadium and build restrooms, concessions, and locker room building, and $250,000 to restore the concrete and waterproof the building on the west side of the stadium.

In other business, the board approved paying Capitol Aluminum & Glass Corp., of Bellevue, Ohio, $24,316 for window replacement in the maintenance building and $96,584 for windows at the district's administration building.

Board member John Adler questioned why the projects became an "urgent necessity" and the jobs were not put out to bid.

President David Hunter said he learned recently the windows at the maintenance building were welded shut in violation of fire code requirements. Superintendent Michael Carmean said the maintenance building windows have been welded shut for about a decade.

Some windows at the administration building would "blow open," Mr. Hunter added.

Mr. Adler voted against the $96,584 expenditure for the administration building.

Board member Lisa Canales was not present for the meeting.

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