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Published: Thursday, 3/28/2013

Perrysburg schools may purchase classroom units from Sylvania schools

BY MATT THOMPSON
BLADE STAFF WRITER

Perrysburg schools are moving forward with a plan to purchase five classroom portable units from Sylvania schools for a short-term fix to its overcrowding issues.

The project would add 10 additional classrooms for the 2013-14 school year, and was recommended at a Board of Education meeting tonight by Perrysburg Superintendent Tom Hosler.

The total project was estimated to cost the school district about $231,000, which would include the purchases, moving and installation, and installing heating and air condition units in three of the portables.

Each portable the district is purchasing has two classrooms. A portable coming from Central Elementary will cost about $2,000, one from Sylvan Elementary for $1,000, and one from Highland Elementary about $2,000. A 2002 portable to be moved from Highland Elementary costs about $4,000 and a newer model coming from the same location is expected to cost the district about $6,000.

Perrysburg Board of Education verbally supported the superintendent's recommendation to purchase the portables at the listed prices, but have not approved the prices of the moving and installation fees yet.

Sylvania school officials estimated it would cost $36,000 to move and install the newer units and $144,000 to move and install the three older portables built in 1988.

“I would be pleasantly surprised if it costs less than that,” Mr. Hosler said.

The Sylvania schools estimated the move and installation fees based on rough numbers from its most recent move.

Perrysburg schools treasurer Matt Feasel said the money for the portable classrooms will come from the district's reserves fund. He assured board members that money won't take away from any of the funds the district has received through levies for other permanent improvement projects.

Frank Elementary will be receiving three of the portables because of its need for classrooms. The four other classrooms will go to Fort Meigs Elementary. Woodland Elementary already has a large portable pod that has six classrooms, and Perrysburg Junior High has two portables.

"This is not a fun problem to have, but it is better than closing schools or letting people go," Mr. Hosler said.

Board member Walt Edinger said this plan accomplishes and meets their needs for the next school year, but wondered where there would be room to add later.

A long-term plan that was previously brought to the board would add a seventh- and eight-grade middle school building on the Perrysburg High School campus in 2018. Mr. Hosler said the district is using short-term fixes to wait until 2015 when a bond will retire and the district can go to voters with a levy for the $38 million project.

Officials are still working on a potential levy amount for the proposed project.

"The voters have been great to us," he said. "We can only ask so much of them though."

The long-term fix would change the district's makeup by moving fifth graders from the elementary schools to the junior high. The junior high on East South Boundary Street would go from housing sixth through eighth graders to fifth and sixth graders under the new plan. The new middle school would take on seventh and eighth graders.

Mr. Hosler said he is documenting board members questions and concerns and is preparing to take it to the District Strategic Facilities Committee, which recommended the new building.

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



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