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Education

Perrysburg Schools ponders new building

Structure cost, levy proposal amount to pay for it still unknown

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Perrysburg superintendent Tom Hosler

THE BLADE
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Perrysburg Schools’ superintendent will recommend Tuesday that the board of education make plans to build a new fifth and sixth-grade building, which will mean going back to voters in November.

The exact cost of the building and the exact amount of a levy proposal to pay for it are unknown.

Next year will be the final year that Perrysburg taxpayers pay the 1.85 mill levy that built Fort Meigs Elementary. A new levy, if approved, likely won’t be collected until 2016, after the 1.85 mill levy has expired. It is likely, though, that a levy will be more than the millage for the Fort Meigs school levy.

Currently the retiring 1.85 millage costs the owner of a $200,000 home $129.60 per year.

Superintendent Tom Hosler will present the new-school plan at a meeting at 7 a.m. Tuesday at the Commodore Building. The board is expected to discuss the plan at its May 19 meeting and likely vote on it in June, Mr. Hosler said.

The growing district uses 20 portable classrooms at the elementary and junior high. The district has built new schools in recent years to accommodate growing enrollment, including a new high school that opened in 2001. Growth continues, however, Mr. Hosler said. The high school’s enrollment has ballooned by 600 additional students since it opened, he said.

A call for another new building comes after two years and more than 320 hours of planning by the district’s strategic facilities committee. The committee included several business owners and parents in Perrysburg, the former and present mayors, retired police chief, Perrysburg township trustees, and a teacher, among others.

The board of education has had several executive sessions to talk about the sale and purchase of property. The district won’t disclose what locations they are considering.

Building on the high school campus isn’t recommended because in another 10 years there will likely be a need for a smaller addition to the high school if the growth continues, Mr. Hosler said.

The new school would house fifth and sixth graders, meaning the other district elementary schools would house children in kindergarten through fourth. The junior high would house seventh and eighth graders.

“Growth is a problem at the junior high and elementary schools,” Mr. Hosler said.

The new school will have a cafeteria and gym, but likely not an auditorium because the junior high already has one. With about 400 students in a grade, the district anticipates the new building will need to accommodate about 900 students and have the ability to expand.

It will take two years for construction to be completed, if approved by the board and then voters.

The new school will likely not require much additional staff, Mr. Hosler said. Teachers whose classrooms are currently in portable units would move to the new building. A new school probably would require additional kitchen, custodial, and administrative staff.

Two other options to a new school also are being considered, Mr. Hosler said. One plan would move seventh and eighth graders to the high school campus and convert the junior high school to a fifth and sixth-grade building. Another option would be to build another elementary school, and convert an existing elementary school to a fifth and sixth-grade building.

Contact Matt Thompson at: mthompson@theblade.com, 419-356-8786, or on Twitter at @mthompson25.

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