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Published: Tuesday, 5/13/2014 - Updated: 2 months ago

Perrysburg school board seems to back new school, new levy

BY MATT THOMPSON
BLADE STAFF WRITER
Perrysburg Superintendent Tom Hosler is pushing for a new levy to build a new school for fifth and sixth graders. Perrysburg Superintendent Tom Hosler is pushing for a new levy to build a new school for fifth and sixth graders.
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Faced with questions about adding on to the junior high or using the administration building, the Perrysburg Board of Education at a special meeting early today seemed intent on pursuing a levy to build a new school to house fifth and sixth graders.

The board will discuss the recommendation further at a 5:30 p.m. meeting Monday at the Commodore building and then vote on it during the board's June meeting.

Most board members seemed to back Superintendent Tom Hosler's recommendation for a new building and to ask voters for a levy to do so in November. If approved, the tax es would not be collected until Jan. 1, 2016, when a 1.85-mill levy that was used to build Fort Meigs Elementary expires.

The new levy, if approved, would add about $84 a year to the $130 a year paid now for the 1.85-mill levy by the owner of a $200,000 home, Mr. Hosler said.

Growing number of students have prompted the district to use 20 portable classrooms and five pre-school rooms housed in Maumee.

Perrysburg school board member Sue Larimer asked a few questions at the meeting which she received from residents. One was why the district doesn't use the Commodore Building for classrooms. The building at the corner of Indiana and Louisiana Avenue used to be a junior high school and more than 10 years ago houses sixth grade classes, but now is used by the district's administration, which has 30 employees there. Its gym is used, it has testing rooms for advanced placement courses, and it is where the school board meets and where plays are rehearsed.

"To upgrade the facility, it would be $15 to $18 million to bring it up to code, and at the end of the day it would only house 325 students," Mr. Hosler said. 

That would be just under how many students are in one grade. 

Mr. Hosler also said that, if the building were used as a school, the administration would need new quarters.

Another question brought up by Ms. Larimer from residents was why not add a third floor to the Perrysburg Junior High.

"There are going to be naysayers but it doesn't make sense to add-on," board member Cal Smith said. 

To do so, the junior high school building's foundation would need to be improved and it wouldn't help the district's need to give relief to elementary schools, officials said.

"We are a victim of our own success, it is a beautiful problem to have," said board member William Jarman Davis III. "This is where people want to live. To be successful, the district needs to grow."

The district has 600 more students than when it built its last building in 2001. There were 3,100 students enrolled in the 1985-86 school year and that number has grown to nearly 5,000 students this year. 

Looking ahead, the next need for more buildings would come in 10 years, Mr. Hosler said. The district will be looking to add to  the high school and build another elementary school, he said.

By that time, more than 3 mills in taxes will expire and give the district a better opportunity to get voter approval of new taxes.

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



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