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Published: Tuesday, 7/29/2008

Scott rehab passes initial test


A plan by Toledo Public Schools to begin a fifth segment of its school building plan including the possible renovation of Scott High School passed the committee level yesterday and is set for a vote today by the full board of education.

The plan, endorsed last night by committee members Darlene Fisher and Lisa Sobecki, encompasses nine school buildings and calls for possibly building two 600-student high schools if the proposal to save Scott proves financially unfeasible.

The effort to rehabilitate Scott drew support from members of the audience of about 50 people at the meeting in Scott s cafeteria. However, several who spoke criticized school officials for failing to assure a definite future for Scott, which opened in 1913.

This is the oldest, most historic school in the city. Why did you put it on the tail end? asked Ken Peterson, an Old West End resident and 1966 Scott alumnus. We want this building to stand, and we want Scott to remain one singular school.

TPS officials and board members have been working on the fifth segment plan with the Ohio School Facilities Commission, which contributes 77 percent of the district s $640 million Building for Success new school building program.

Renovating Scott could cost $40 million, and the state so far has been willing to provide $28 million leaving local taxpayers to cover the remaining $12 million.

But under the resolution that goes before the board today, the 261,500-square-foot Scott could be physically reassessed by the state with an aim to reducing the local share.

TPS Business Manager Ron Victor said the two new high schools in the resolution are placeholders in case the Scott plan doesn t work out.

If the two schools were left out of the building plan and the Scott plan fell through, building them later could result in higher construction costs, he said.

The other schools in the fifth segment plan are Beverly, Birmingham, Longfellow, Marshall, McKinley, Old Orchard, Pickett, Riverside, and the expansion project for Ottawa River.

Other audience members who spoke included Cheryl Catlin, a 1979 Scott alumnus who lives nearby.

She called on school officials to also rebuild Scott s curriculum, which she believes is substandard and no longer college preparatory.

The current curriculum compels parents to send their children elsewhere, she said.

I m an [alumna] and I don t feel comfortable sending my child to Scott, said Ms. Catlin, whose son attends Central Catholic High School.

Ms. Catlin ran unsuccessfully in November for a board seat, and earlier this year sought the seat of outgoing board member Robert Torres.

After the meeting, school officials led the public on a tour of the high school.

Contact JC Reindl at:jreindl@theblade.comor 419-724-6065.

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