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Published: Monday, 7/8/2013

Rossford board adopts $76M renovation plan

Survey showed preference for 2-phase project

BY ARIELLE STAMBLER
BLADE STAFF WRITER
Creps Creps
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Rossford Exempted Village Schools officials have chosen a $76 million reconstruction and renovation plan for its school buildings based upon the results of two surveys of registered voters in the community.

The option involves rebuilding two of Rossford’s three elementary schools — Eagle Point and Indian Hills — and demolishing the third, Glenwood Elementary. The project also includes rebuilding most of the junior high and high school buildings but renovating the high school’s 1920s-era core, said John Appt, chairman of the Master Plan Steering Committee.

The steering committee initially formulated 17 alternatives and proposed the top five to the community at a public forum at the end of May. On a survey collected on June 6, 481 respondents ranked the five options in order of preference.

The two preferred options were then placed on a second survey that yielded 425 responses. The steering committee presented the winning option to a board composed of the Rossford mayor, school treasurer, board of education members, and some interested citizens on June 28, and they voted to accept the public's choice.

“This has been a community-driven process,” Superintendent of Schools Dan Creps said.

One of the project’s goals is to cut costs by downsizing from three elementary schools to two, school board member Jackie Brown said. Eagle Point will house all prekindergarten through second-grade students while Indian Hills will house all third, fourth, and fifth graders.

Rossford Exempted Village Schools serves 1,900 students from Rossford, Northwood, and Perrysburg and Lake Townships. Mr. Appt said the most prominent outdated feature of the district’s five buildings is their heating, ventilation, and air conditioning systems.

“As of right now, only one school has air conditioning,” he said.

The plan includes electrical and technological upgrades and improved accessibility to people with disabilities.

Through the surveys, Rossford residents chose to pay for the project in two phases. This first phase to upgrade the elementary school system would cost $32.2 million and is dependent on the passage of a roughly 4.63-mill, 37-year property tax levy to be placed on the Nov. 5 general-election ballot, according to school treasurer James Rossler, Jr. The second phase to upgrade the junior high and high schools is estimated to cost $44 million.

If the levy for Phase One passes, then reconstruction will begin the summer of 2014 and should take a year and a half to complete.

If the levy fails, Ms. Brown said the school board will look for other ways to cut costs.

“If this direction is not what the public wants, we’ll re-evaluate,” she said.

Mr. Creps said he was excited about the chosen option.

“Our facilities are aged,” he said. “These new facilities will better meet the needs of our students.”

Contact Arielle Stambler at: astambler@theblade.com or 419-724-6050.



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