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.





So with your assumption that these building additions weren't made to last we should assume the same with this 50 million dollar brick and mortar dream? Now who is throwing away money?

Tell it how it is.

donut guy, It is a better solution to replace than fix here. If your 100K home needed 85 K in repairs would you do it or just start from scratch and bring up everything to better levels? That is what the private sector would do as well. What do you want to have happen? Where are you going.


No, according to donut guys past posts we should just close all of the schools. He believes that they are obsolete.

Now there is an answer. That adds to the adult conversation.


Pretty sure they put in new boilers in the high school in the last few years, and upgraded the middel schools fire alarm system, but they are not saying anything about that. I would like to see a list of just what there has been repaired in the last 5 years. There is also in the high school one huge room dedicated to ONE child with there OWN staff paid for buy a VARY wealthy famly. Is that best use of space in a tax payer building? Not to mention the problems. ONE MORE TIME IF the school is SOOO bad then why did they spend over a #100,000.00 to move the B.O.E. into it?


I am voting NO to both levies because of the fact that Gunner deceptively moved around taxpayer funds in order to get his own way after the last levy was defeated. Now the funds that he pilfered are gone and he wants us to pay for his arrogance. NO and NO again!


Not deceptive, even though you may not agree with it. All of the discussion regarding this move was done in the open at public meetings. Moving the inside millage advanced needing additional money by one year. Would you vote for an operating levy in another year?


They said they were doing it; they didn't discuss it. There's a difference. A discussion implies that if people would have been against it, they wouldn't have done it. They were going to move the millage come hell or high water.


"MP"..... SMH "Serious Health and Safety Hazards"
Damaged asbestos to ceilings in 1958 building. Tear out and replace w/ drop ceiling...I can get you a quote! Raw sewage in crawl space! That's a shop vac some gloves and termination of whichever employee didn't clean it up in first place. I provide the shop vac and gloves you do the termination.! Moderate water intrusion in Boiler Room. Replace the effing window and seal it correctly! Around 2 k there! I can keep going it is really that simple!

As for the brick which you believe to be structural mostly the East wall yeah tear it off and add a new addition to the school there is a crap ton of land to the east off of this "structural wall" great place to add new things like restrooms classrooms, new auxillary gym, pool extension, new wing! That way we have a place to move to when we renovate the older parts! Cracks happen everywhere in every type of building. I bet you have cracks in your house! you should have a report done and then buy a new one! Point is your right things need fixin some things need to be new but you don't just throw away everything that is just stupidity especially at the cost of new construction with all the new requirements and standards which are mostly grandfathered in in the old buildings. If it were so bad shouldn't everyone be sick......shouldn't we be prosecuted for allowing children into an unsafe building???


I believe something needs to be done! Said this the last time, last report when they got voted down on their university solution! They took there ball and went home. Then built a stadium. While the schools got worse. They have no other solution except for the all new one! Which is not cost effective. LETS SEE THE MATH.....There is plenty of room to expand to add. While keeping the old! I would hate to hear how you treat your grandparents! SO SAD!


That was my whole point. Perhaps it didn't come across. I got a little ticked because if safety and health were TRULY the concern then they wouldn't have sat and waited on any of this. If they would have attempted to do something about the situation as opposed to just coming back to us for more money and also using it as a PR media ploy it would a bit of a different story.


No way either levy passes.


We get it. You aren't going to vote for any levy, any time, no how, not in your or anybody else's lifetime, no way. And you certainly haven't had any constructive input, so how about you just assume we all know what you think and stop posting the same thing every two hours.




YES! Vote YES!

Perkins Resident

Neither of the levies has a chance.


Does anyone know why the Health Department hasen't been notified about Raw Sewage in the School?
Sounds like another Gunner's scare tactics.
I think Gunner should be replaced by a fifth grander.


They don't ignore the sewage-they make tough calls. Close school. Close class rooms. Close restrooms. They pump out the sewage. They patch the break. Yet it doesn't change the long term answer. The repair will cost $3-5M, involve a school shut down, and having to bring everything up to current code. Add to that all the other repairs... Why put good money after bad? It just stupid to continue to dump money into these buildings


I owed an old farm house with cast iron plumbing many years ago. It failed. I had to replace the plumbing in the entire house. Cast Iron sort of rots from the inside. Maybe a plumber, someone with some expertise, could educate those whom believe that a patch n' vac is what is needed.


How much did you owe it?

Perkins Resident

Gunner and the board wouldn't have replaced the pipes. They would have built a new house. ( If they were using taxpayers money and not their own)

Common Sense

some of these no votes are the same people who buy "expensive toys" for their children, but don't want to fork out one red penny to have their children educated in a safe environment. What a pity!

Peachy Keen

I've decided I will not vote no on the levy to SPITE Gunner and the school board, but will vote yes DESPITE them. We honestly DO need a new high school facility, no matter how underhanded the tactics being used by the superintendant and school board. PHS was old, outdated and needed a lot of work when my own kids graduated from there over a decade ago! So, I'll simply save my NO votes for when the current school board members come up for re-election!! We also need a superintendant who lives in and is invested in our community.