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Perkins officials pitch new school plan to residents

Alissa Widman Neese • Feb 8, 2013 at 8:20 AM

To Perkins Schools officials, solving their high school facilities issues is a no-brainer — it’s time to buy new.

Superintendent Jim Gunner honed his message to a packed Perkins High School room Wednesday night, where more than 100 people attended the district’s first levy committee meeting.

Among the topics discussed:

• Last month’s Ohio School Facilities Commission report stating, in the long-term, it’s more cost-effective to rebuild Perkins High School than renovate it

• Plans to construct a new building for junior high and high school students

• Decreased state funding and the need to pass an emergency operating levy to help fund the $50 million project

“We need a different source of revenue,” Gunner said.

“The cost of the major improvements required to get this building up to code is so extreme the permanent improvement levy can’t deal with them.”

Perkins Schools will propose two levies on the May ballot: a 10-year, 4.98-mill emergency operating levy and a five-year renewal of a 2-mill permanent improvement levy.

Those who attended Wednesday’s meeting, many levy supporters, submitted questions to Gunner on notecards about the upcoming campaign.

Although Gunner didn’t address all of them on-spot, his presentation and every question with an answer will be posted on the school’s website by Friday morning.

“We want to be as transparent as possible,” Gunner said. “We want to ensure everyone is knowledgeable, understanding and supportive when it’s time to vote.”

Frank Corder, a Perkins resident and father of two Perkins High School graduates, said Gunner’s presentation was an effective and informative campaign kickoff. Many levy supporters signed up to aid the district’s effort by contacting voters and raising funds.

“I know no one likes tax increases, but it’s important for the community to invest in its facilities,” Corder said. “I don’t have any kids in the district anymore but I’m still pro-schools and pro-levy.”

Miss the meeting?

Visit www.perkins.k12.oh.us to view Perkins Schools superintendent Jim Gunner’s presentation, as well as every question audience members submitted.


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