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Published: Tuesday, 7/29/2008

Sylvania levy OK d for ballot

BLADE STAFF

The Sylvania Board of Education last night approved placing a 2.9-mill levy on the November ballot for a bond issue meant to replace some school buildings and make improvements to others.

Board President Dave Spiess said the move has been under discussion for about six years.

Board members had no comment when they unanimously approved the issue meant to raise about $79 million for the capital project.

Public meetings and presentations for parent organizations were held in the last year to spell out the need for the capital improvements levy.

Superintendent Brad Rieger said he would soon put together a committee to work for its passage. He said people already have volunteered to help.

Mr. Rieger has said that the board and school administration recognize that times are economically difficult for many people, but that the buildings, four of which were constructed in the 1920s, are in need of nearly constant work and don t provide a good atmosphere for learning.

Under the plan, Maplewood and Central elementary schools would be demolished and replaced.

Much of Hill View Elementary School also would be demolished and reconstructed.

In addition to its age, Central, at Central Avenue and King Road, is at an increasingly busy intersection which creates safety concerns, officials have said.

The board would have to find a new site to build its replacement.

In addition to a variety of individual needs for different buildings, all would have security vestibules included in the proposed remodeling.

If passed, the levy also would allow for each building to be in compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act.

The proposed project would result in the elimination of modular classrooms and would include enough additional space to allow for all-day kindergarten to be offered.

Carol McElfresh, treasurer and chief financial officer for the district, said that the levy, if approved, would cost the owner of a $100,000 house $88.51 annually.

The board also approved unanimously John Crandall as a member to replace George Gernot III, who resigned earlier this month because he is moving out of the district.

Mr. Crandall, 70, was a 30-year employee with the Lucas County Engineer s Office, who still works there part time after retiring as director of operations in 2006.

He has been active in many Sylvania community organizations, including as president of the Sylvania Community Improvement Corp. and the first president of the Sylvania Area Joint Recreation District.



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