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Excerpt: Tough choices for voters in Perkins school district

Anonymous • Feb 3, 2013 at 5:09 AM

If it weren’t for the question of money and how to pay for construction of a new high school campus, probably every resident in the Perkins school district would agree its old school buildings should be replaced.

If there were a bottomless pot of money, some residents might even agree with an Ohio School Facilities Commission report that concluded the conditions of the aging high school building present a “serious health and safety hazard” for students and staff.


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But the Erie County Health Department did not see it quite the same way when it sent inspectors to the school after the Facilities Commission report was released last week. The commission and the health department have different jobs, however, and different standards.

The commission looks at the long-term viability and costs to maintain the district’s buildings, while the health department reviews immediate dangers that might be present in the building. It’s apples-and-oranges to compare their findings. 

Like the Facilities Commission, Perkins school board members and district superintendent Jim Gunner must look long term with regard to the district’s buildings, and decide what they believe is best for students at a reasonable and affordable cost to the community.

The increasing expenses of maintaining aging buildings must be balanced against the community’s willingness to pay more now, in new taxes for new construction, and to qualify for a share of the state funding available now for new school buildings.

From the board’s perspective, residents can pay to maintain old buildings, or pay to build new buildings. Over the long term, the cost difference will be reasonable, board members believe, especially when weighed against the improved educational opportunities and reduced operations costs a new green campus would provide the community. The prudent and wisest choice, according to school board members, is to invest in the district’s future.


Click here for the e*Paper or buy a Sunday Register at a newsstand near you for the rest of today's editorial Viewpoint plus coupons and advertiser specials that can save you hundreds of dollars on your next shopping trip.  

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