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Published: Monday, 6/9/2003

Community forum slated on schools in Maumee

The Maumee School District plans a community forum this week so residents can talk with architects and school officials about the upcoming school construction and renovation project.

Maumee voters last month approved a 28-year, 5.2-mill bond issue and a companion 1.0-mill operating levy that will raise more than $42 million to fund improvements and expenses at five of the district's schools.

Planning for the project is moving forward, and school officials hope that groundbreaking for a new Fort Miami school will occur in spring or early summer, 2004. Initial phases of renovation on buildings in the district should be ready to begin about that time as well.

Architects from Duket Porter MacPherson and SSOE, who have been meeting with building staff members getting information for designs that will best meet students' needs, will present their information and answer questions during the forum at 7 p.m. Thursday in Gateway Middle School auditorium, 900 Gibbs St.

District administrative staff and Board of Education members also will be there to talk with residents.

“The community's overwhelming support May 6 for our bond issue and operating levy sent us the message that we are on the right track,” board president Sylvia Washburn said. “Now, as we begin the actual design phase of six construction projects, we again want to ask the community for their input.”

The school board decided against adopting a state plan for its schools project because it would have been more expensive for taxpayers, officials said.

The Ohio Schools Facilities Commission, which has been assessing upgrades for schools across the state and paying a state share from a 1998 settlement with tobacco companies, recommended closing Union and Fort Miami elementary schools and Gateway Middle School, and building and renovating others.

The state would have paid 11 percent, or $6 million, of that $56 million plan.

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