Perkins High School is 'serious health and safety hazard'

A third independent assessment of Perkins High School echoes the first two: To keep the building safe, modern and efficient, it's cheaper to rebuild, not renovate.
Alissa Widman Neese
Jan 24, 2013

The building, constructed in 1905, is a "serious health and safety hazard" in need of speedy replacement, according to a recent report from the Ohio Schools Facilities Commission.

Asbestos, flooding, inadequate fire alarms and a crawl space covered in raw sewage are just a few reasons the facilities commission is urging Perkins to construct a new high school as quickly as possible. 

"Essentially, the report says 'What are you waiting for? Build,'" superintendent Jim Gunner said. "I'm waiting for money, for the right financial alignment to make it happen."

A new building and its landscaping would likely cost $50 million, Gunner said. It would be used for both junior high and high school students.

For more on the report, pick up a copy of Thursday's Register and look at the PDF below.


Also, stop back at noon today for Between the Lines, a live public affairs program, with guest Jim Gunner. There will be a live chat room where viewers can ask questions about the building project and proposed levies. We will get to as many questions as we can during the duration of the show.




I want to correct my statement above. Gunner clarified in the video that the Administrative Services Center will be maintained in some way when (not if) the new high school is built.

Good 2 B Me

$100,000,000... That is what Gunner wanted and got told a resounding NO. So, he is going to find a way to spend it without the Taxpayers saying Yes. Sounds like he had this one all mapped out in advance. Thinking that Perkins should call Shenanigans!

Perkins Resident

Shut Gunner and his cronies down by voting NO on both levies!

Good 2 B Me

Sadly, it seems as if Gunner has us over a barrel. If we vote no, he does it anyhow. If we vote yes, he gets what he wants. Either way, he gets what he wants.


Im voting yes!!!


Absolutely shell out millions of dollars for new construction and then sit back and wonder why you have water leaks 4 months after it opens like Clyde and Bellevue.

It's a heck of a "mistake" when they find out that certain things were not properly connected. Umm yeah.


Gunner should be a disk jockey! I've never seen someone spin things like he does. Gunner for congress, he'll fit right in!


God save us from Gunner!


Same old crap/ administration going back to the watering hole! Surprisingly they haven't gotten it condemned yet like the stadium! A couple years back they asked for a levy to build the COLLEGE OF PERKINS. They paid for a report stating everything wrong with all of the schools HVAC, ADA, Electric, Safety Standards you name it, it was in there! Then they got the BIG OLE NO from the public! These schools are so bad according to their reports that it should be criminal to allow these kids to keep entering the buildings! I am a Perkins Alum and love everything about Perkins except for this certain group of people who in the last couple of years have changed/ tried to change everything. They will get there new school without the Taxpayers consent, that is how they work! It is an utter embarrassment to what is currently going on there! DISGUSTED!!!!!!!


If GUNNER and gang agree to resign, and people, the right people get involved with planning than I would vote YES! Look at the planning of the stadium....what great architecture went into the press box! A stupid rectangle box that never accounted for an overhang or any other detail. Stop planning things around where the advertisement boards will go.......TERRIBLE!

Just Because

Getting a new school is nice. Bellevue has 2 BUT what the government doesn't tell you is when they give you money towards the new school is that you cannot take the contents from the old schools into the new schools. The only items Bellevue was allowed to take was some technology items such as smart boards. No deskss, tables, chairs...not even a stupid waste basket. The first several weeks of school they were using cardboard boxes as waste cans! That is the govt wasting the taxpayer money as usual. Bellevue had an auction to sell off the old items and got a fraction of what the new stuff cost I am sure!!! Govt wasting again!!!


Just say no.

Erie Countian

I'm the parent of 2 Perkins graduates. I think the older sections of the PHS building are an embarrassment to the community, especially the ancient 1905 wing. I agree we need a new high school, but I feel Gunner has been a complete shyster during his time at Perkins. He lied about moving his family here and still doesn't reside here. He took in all these open enrollment students and he's played lots of underhanded games with our tax dollars. I don't know of anyone who really trusts this guy at all, and I'm afraid there will be no levy passed as long as he remains here. It's a shame for our current and future students, who really do need a newer and modernized high school facility.

Perkins Resident

Very well said Erie Countian!

Good 2 B Me

Well said. Now, do we know how to get him out? I would love to dig in and help remove him and his huge spending habits from our District.


You are right, Erie Countian. Just about everyone I know in Perkins does not trust him, nor the board that keeps him on the payroll. I expect that, regardless of passage or not, real estate in Perkins Twp will be going up for sale at record pace. Either will be nickel and dimed to death or our children will not be given the proper education they deserve due to cut backs. I want to know who knew about the raw sewage and some of the other major issues logged in the report. Someone should be losing their job(s) over this!


Played "lots of underhanded games with our tax dollars." Can you give some actual details or just hyperbole. If one of the "shyster" moves was the inside millage, it was openly discussed over the course of numerous public meetings-hardly sneaky even if you didn't agree with the move. Commenters on here regarding being against open enrollment must not vote for EHOVE levies (your tax dollars going there are supporting open enrollment students from three counties). Open enrollment has brought approx. $3,000,000 dollars to the school district which delayed the need for levies for a few years; open enrollment had to be done since no new levy money was voted for the district.


Yes, moving inside millage was legal and openly discussed at meetings, but that doesn't make it right in the eyes of many residents. This board and supt basically thumbed their noses at the "NO" given to them by voters and are determined to do what they want regardless of what the voters say.


Even if the levy fails employees will be laid off and the building will be built anyway --why do you think the budget transfer took place -- the community will then end up taking the blame for laying off personal..


So be it. Lay personnel off and do away with open enrollment. Sounds like a great plan to me!


Education these days is way overrated. We could save a lot of money if we just got rid of the schools or stripped them down to the bare essentials.

If the kids and parents of our community don't like it just send the rottens to the military and maybe come up with forced labor camps or something to keep them busy. Isn't there a lot of trash along the roadways that kids could be picking up instead of spending all that time in school with these outrageously costly teachers?

And buses, what the heck, so many people drive their kids to school already, couldn't we just eliminate those big wasteful boxes on wheels? The kids do not like buses anyhow.

Enough of this wasteful spending on education!

If you watch Family Guy, a really good show for the family (it's name says it all) you would have seen a good episode last night when Peter rallies the community to get rid of all local government. It was great. Onward ho Tea Party!


You can't get rid of the big wasteful boxes on wheels....what would the football team ride on for games?


This is the best job he has done in explaining the need for facilities, but he does not inspire trust. Not sure what I will do.

Erie Countian

I stand by my comment, "9299". Gunner outright lied to the community right from the start about moving here...even had a photo of his wife and kids in the Perkins Local Schools newsletter stating his kids would be attending Perkins. Well, they never did. Also, just a week or so after he's hired here, Gunner goes to interview at Oregon Schools! That began the doubts about this fellow right away! I know that these plans of Gunner's have been openly discussed...but he and the Board are going to do whatever they want despite anyone's objections, and do it in a rather underhanded way. He has lost the trust of most of the Perkins community, and there is resentment that he has never moved here. I'm not saying I will not vote for the levy, but I'll have to hold my nose if I do! (And as for EHOVE, I always vote for their levies, as that's the only option for Perkins students wanting vocational education.)


I'd suggest you take a bit of time and watch the "between the lines" interview. Gunner goes into detail the circumstances surrounding his living in Oregon. There were extenuating circumstances that the board readily accepted. So, before you condemn the man, I encourage you to avail yourself of the facts.



I've talked to Mr. Gunner numerous times over the last four years. I know the extenuating circumstances that you speak of. Why does he continue to lie to me in 2012 about moving to the community? It makes no sense. Maybe he can't keep track of the people he lies to or he's lied so much he can't tell it from the truth. It's a trust issue with me.


I am with you ERIE COUNTIAN. The man has lost TOTAL trustworthyness. He can sit in an interview and say anything he wants, sounds just like the last presidential election, A bunch of BLA BLA BULL to sell himself to get what he wants, even though most of the communitys he works for but not live in ( just had to say that ) has said they dont want it.


I am with you ERIE COUNTIAN. The man has lost TOTAL trustworthyness. He can sit in an interview and say anything he wants, sounds just like the last presidential election, A bunch of BLA BLA BULL to sell himself to get what he wants, even though most of the communitys he works for but not live in ( just had to say that ) has said they dont want it.


The high school isn't safe, huh? Thank God they spent all that money on a new football stadium, then. smh


The scaled down plan from $100 million to this new one which is about $10 million is giving me pause for consideration. I still don't think he inspires trust.