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Published: Monday, 7/14/2014

Perrysburg Schools voters likely to face 2.94- mill levy

Owner of $200,000 house would pay $206 a year

BY MATT THOMPSON
BLADE STAFF WRITER

Perrysburg School District voters appear likely to be asked to approve a 2.94-mill levy in November, as the school board Monday honed in on that amount to raise money to build a new fifth and sixth grade school and to make other improvements.

Such a levy would generate $38.9 million with a 28-year length. It would cost the owner of a $200,000 house $206 a year. The levy will begin to be collected in 2016, after a 1.85-mill school levy to build Fort Meigs expires. The new levy would cost same homeowner about $76 more a year than the retiring levy.

Besides the new school, the levy would cover the costs of electrical upgrades to provide for air conditioning throughout Perrysburg Junior High, the costs to build an auxiliary gym at the high school, and the cost of safety upgrades at the elementary school entrances.

During an early morning meeting Monday, school board members discussed several possibilities, including a 3.02-mill levy that would also include four more classrooms to the new building. Also discussed was not building the high school‘s ‍auxiliary gym.

After about a hour discussion, the board seemed unified in the levy amount and what it will pay for.

The board is expected to vote to put the levy on the ballot during a 5:30 p.m. July 21 meeting at the Commodore Building.

Discussion of possibly not constructing the auxiliary gym stemmed from public concerns about it expressed to board members in the past few weeks. No members of the public attended the morning meeting.

“My overriding concern is this has to pass, and the only resistance I‘‍m hearing is for the auxiliary gym,” said Cal Smith, board member. 

Board member Walt Edinger said that, when the high school was built, cost cutting led to having no auxiliary gym. The extra gym would be used so that classes would have their own space, and for after school practices and and junior varsity basketball games. The 9,000-square foot addition for an auxiliary gym was estimated at $2.3 million. If the auxiliary gym wasn’t built, the levy amount would be 2.83 mills and cost the owner of a $200,000 house $198 a year in taxes.

Superintendent Tom Hosler supported including the auxiliary gym. He presented some school-day gym schedules that had pre-school workouts and activities all the way until 9:30 p.m., including elementary age practices going that late, because of the limited gym space. The cheerleading and dance teams also have to practice in the high school commons when other sports teams use the main gym, he said.

Mr. Edinger said, “I don’‍t know how many high schools built in the last 20 years don‘‍t have an auxiliary gym. If we don’‍t do it now we‘‍ll have to wait 10 years when we’‍ll need to expand the high school.” 

Building the four additional classrooms for the fifth and sixth grade building meant the total needed for all of the improvements would be $40 million, which would need a 3.02-mill levy to cover the cost, meaning the owner of a $200,000 home would pay $213 a year.

The board agreed the added classrooms would be an alternate option if any available funds are leftover or if bids come lower than expected. 

Mr. Hosler said the district will search for land for the new building south of I-475 and west of I-75 because that is where there is room and where the growth is in the district. Needed is 18 to 19 acres, he added.

Perrysburg’‍s 20 portable classrooms and the practice of sending preschoolers to Maumee for rented space prompted the school board to proceed toward building a school.

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



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