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New junior high/high school building with historical features proposed
By Beth Church
A predominantly new building that preserves some historical sections of Rossford High School is the latest plan for school facilities.
At a meeting November 23, the Rossford Board of Education voted 4-0 on the “hybrid new/renovated” plan. Board member Jackie Brown was absent.
The Collaborative/TMP presented four design options for the board to consider.
Dave Serra, principal; John Castellana, educational planner, and Joe Swint, cost estimating, explained two options, A1 and A2, for renovation, and two options, B1 and B2 for new construction.
B2 was selected by the board, after Ken Sutter, Dawn Burks and Jackie Huffman selected it as one of their top two choices.
The design proposed 115,000 square feet of new space and 70,000 square feet of renovation, at an estimated cost of $46.6 million.
It would keep the facade and auditorium from the high school building, remove the music building and junior high, and construct new wings or “houses” along with a new fieldhouse.
Mr. Castellana noted that option “maintains history and tradition” and provides a unified campus, but also offers “all new academic areas.”
Mr. Sutter believes the option “compromises with both groups” of residents who have argued over new construction or renovation.
“I like that it keeps the center section of the high school, but we still get the new vibrant look for downtown Rossford,” he explained.
Ms. Burks appreciates the collaborative space and flexible learning environment that a new building would create.
“And if we could incorporate some of the historical pieces, that would be great,” she said.
Mrs. Huffman said the B2 option with its emphasis on new construction will appeal to residents.
In a survey last month, the option to build a new grade 6 to 12 building downtown received the most first and second choice votes of participants. It garnered 32.67 percent of the first choice vote, and 57 percent of the second choices.
Board member Beverly Koch said she preferred either of the renovation options, A1 or A2, and questioned whether they would seem “like new” to students.
“I want the kids to have the excitement of a new building,” she explained, adding that she also does not want the project to be a burden on taxpayers.
After the vote, Mrs. Koch acknowledged, “This has been a very hard meeting for me. To me, the best choice is the one that can pass. I am compromising.”
To develop the options, the Collaborative used the eight “guiding principles” from the 2013 master plan steering committee.
Those include a respect for heritage and tradition; welcome centers at each building that enhance safety; eco-friendly and operational efficiency; seamless technology; grade level groupings; a flexible learning environment; collaborative spaces, and professional space for staff.
Current school enrollment is PK to grade 5: 774; grades 6 to 8: 387; grades 9 to 12: 552; and total: 1,713.
In grades 6 to 12, there currently are 989 students, and Mr. Castellana said a “modest growth” of 1,050 students was used to design the space.
At that enrollment, he believes 173,250 square feet of space is required.
Currently the junior high and high school have a footprint of 206,180 square feet.
Mr. Swint estimated that new construction would cost about $195 per square foot in 2016, and renovation between $145 and $165 per square foot.
The board will next meet Thursday, December 3, to hear specific financial costs from the Collaborative. They also will receive details on the elementary building at the Glenwood site, stadium upgrades, and costs for technology and furnishings.
The board will vote on a resolution to finalize costs for submission to the county auditor.
The resolution requires two votes, so the board scheduled another meeting for Monday, December 7.
Both meetings are at 6 p.m., Indian Hills, 401 Glenwood Road, and are open to the public.
In other business, the school board:
•Approved as volunteers–Paul LaPlante and Peter Schlegel Jr., wrestling; Terry Shadle Jr., boys basketball; Bradley Good, junior high basketball.
•Approved employment of classified personnel–Mette Schroeder, playground aide, two hours per day, $15.17 per hour, effective November 24.
•Accepted the resignation of Taylor Kolb, junior high cheerleader advisor, effective November 23.
•Issued a 2015-16 supplemental contract to Jenna Bachmayer, homebound tutor, $27.69 per hour.
•Approved the district’s 2016 membership with the Toledo Metropolitan Area Council of Governments (TMACOG).
•Approved the following new/revised policies–Conflict of Interest; FMLA Leave; Employment of Substitutes; Use of District Premises; Emergency Situations at Schools; Automated External Defibrillators; Food Services.
•Heard a suggestion from Jack Roessler of Windsor Drive that the climate change issue should be taught in schools.
He urged the board members to contact state officials about including questions on “man-made global warming” in state tests.
“It should be taught–it’s a very serious problem,” he said.
•Heard a question from Steve Haas about the poor condition of the driveway to the Glenwood athletic complex.
Superintendent Dan Creps said he is meeting with Poggemeyer Design Group engineering firm to determine how it can be improved.
The Journal office in Perrysburg now has the following new hours of operation:
Monday: 8:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.
Tuesday-Friday: 9 a.m. - 4 p.m.
Rossford lies at the heart of the Crossroads of America, an area experiencing tremendous economic growth, located at the crossroads of Interstate 75 and the Ohio Turnpike. The city's population of approximately 6,000 is primarily a mix of descendants of Polish, Czechoslovakian, German and Ukrainian workers who came from Pennsylvania to work at the glass plant, now Pilkington.
Rossford was incorporated as a village in 1939 and as a city in 1971. The City is a municipal corporation which operates under its own charter and is governed by a mayor and seven-member City Council. Rossford is served by full-time police and part-time fire departments, dispatched from the neighboring Village of Walbridge.
The City maintains a Community Recreation Center and three parks, one of which,Veterans Memorial Park, features a seasonal marina along with picnic areas and diamonds and courts for baseball, tennis, basketball and volleyball.
Rossford has three elementary schools, Glenwood, Indian Hills and Eagle Point, a junior high and high school and All Saints parochial school for grades pre-kindergarten through eight.
The city boasts a public library and many service and community organizations such as the Rossford Business Association, Lions Club and Veterans of Foreign Wars. Its Rossford Community Service League sponsors annual activities such as a Valentine's Day Dance, Easter egg hunt, Halloween, Memorial Day parades and their Christmas tree lighting.
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