Perkins officials pitch new school plan to residents

You can only dump so many dollars into a clunker before it’s time to send it to the scrapyard.
Alissa Widman Neese
Feb 8, 2013

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 to view Perkins Schools superintendent Jim Gunner’s presentation, as well as every question audience members submitted.



Is that first paragraph about Gunner?

Home Boy

Easy to say when it's OPM.


Hmmm , Lead balloon ?

Keep Focused

The school board and Jim Gunner are meeting their responsibilities. They are analyzing the current situation and looking into the future.

When it becomes obvious to everyone that the current facilities will not get the job done then it's too late to start your planning. It is obvious to me that now is the time to get started.


Well Said! Thank you.

Rationally Speaking

Mr. Gunner needs to be part of the community, i.e. live here. With taxes increasing, buying health insurance, hose on limited income and not making the big bucks, living in modest homes, and having no children in school. We need a break. What ever happened to the unconstitutional ruling for schools on property taxes. If the schools are that bad, why are the students in the building. Next thing will be a multi-level parking garage for students who drive cars to school instead of riding the buses.


Suck it up. It only gets more exspensive the longer we wait. Sure it is a sacrafice but a community is only as strong as it's school system.People without children have always had the responsibility to support the schools. Society has become so me oriented.


Suck it up. It only gets more exspensive the longer we wait. Sure it is a sacrafice but a community is only as strong as it's school system.People without children have always had the responsibility to support the schools. Society has become so me oriented.


This is not about Gunner - Perkins has a board that it elected that is pushing this. Those board members live in Perkins. They know this is the right thing to do. Plus this started in 2007 under a DIFFERENT super.

These buildings are junk and we are throwing good money after our bad buildings - that is so not the answer.

Whether you agree with how the board went about this (inside millage), get past that and your pride and pay the couple hundred bucks a year (or less) it's going to cost you to get this building built.

More than anything, get yourself educated about what is going on at Perkins. Continuing to complain about Gunner (he wasn't here in '07), the windmills (no taxpayer money has been used), open enrollment ($3+ million in income that has kept levies off the ballot for years), etc. Get on their website, read the facts.


Can someone clarify if the Windmills used or did not use taxpayer money? When Gunner was interviewed by SR on air, he said that the district is getting their money back from the company. That suggests to me that taxpayer money may have been used.


The windmills cost $300,000 - 1/2 to be paid by grant money (received in hand by Perkins) and 1/2 by Perkins. Perkins NEVER gave their 1/2 to the windmill company - they only submitted the grant money received. They will get the grant money back PLUS MORE for their trouble. Perkins has been advised the grant money does not have to be returned.


Thank you for the information.


Nice of you to ask and appreciate the response. I think if people, like yourself, actually took the time to ask questions and educate themselves, they would realize the Perkins Board and Super are doing a good job for this Township and are trying to guide to something that will be a great benefit to us in the long-run. I have had questions for years on this stuff and during the last levy took the time to ask the right questions of the right people. Really opened my eyes...


Keep dreaming. Neither levy will pass.


I've gone to the levy and BOE meetings over the years and asked a lot of questions. Many of my questions were well-answered. Many of their answers did not sway me definitively to support the levy. I do not doubt that buildings are in disrepair and in some areas beyond repair. I disagree with the funding structure because I think it holds the operating funds as ransom for building the facilities. When Perkins made the decision to move the inside mills to outside mills, it was against the wishes of the majority of the voters in the area and against the advice of several former superintendents (some who still work in education) who were in attendance at that meeting. (I attended that meeting too.) Additionally, I am not alone in questioning the wisdom of the district contributing to half of the cost (with the other half being donated funds) of building a new stadium. It represents misplaced priorities when (by their own admission) the high school building is in such disrepair. This was also against the wishes of a majority of meeting attendees who suggested that Perkins use the SHS stadium and track for a few year. (I attended that meeting too.)

Many of the people who oppose this levy are informed, attend meetings, and support education with their current taxes, their time, and other donations. I've not completely made my decision. Another poster said that their YES vote will be for buildings, but when any of these BOE members are up for re-election they will use their NO vote then. Something to consider.


If they received the grant money from or through a gov't program that is still taxpayers money.

BW1's picture

Gunner: “The cost of the major improvements required to get this building up to code is so extreme..."

Buildings open to the public are supposed to be regularly inspected by the building and fire departments, and reports issued for anything that doesn't conform to code. Can the superintendent provide said reports listing violations to back up his casual use of the term "up to code," or does the phrase translate into "up to the latest and greatest features and design desired by members of my profession?"

I know a district that, 40 years ago, made similar claims when what they really wanted was to replace traditional buildings with "schools without walls" to keep up with the latest harebrained pedagogical fad dreamed up by some ivory tower type in search of a dissertation thesis. It was a disaster.

Our nation's leaders received a large part of their post secondary education in buildings that were standing when George Washington was born.

Imataloss It's all there. Lots of reading, but there.

BW1's picture

How about being more specific, as in the document from either the building or fire department citing the violations?


He willl use the words " UP TO CODE " To scare the ones that dont understand what that means into voating yes. On somethings in the school " UP TO CODE " is as easy as fire retardint Culk and spray foam, replaceing batterys, or fixing doors. THINGS THAT SHOULD BE KEPT UP IN THE FIRST place to keep the kids safe, not letting it go for years then cry oh my gosh we need a new school this one is not up to code.
Only the home field stands were condemed.(they could have been repaired) at the football field, Yea I know the track wasnt the best, the grass field was not top of the line But look what happened, the " keeping up with the jones's" came into play, Sandusky got a new stadium, huron got a new stadium. we need one to. The school is heading the same way. Few hundread thousand or tens of millions.


Just went to the web site to read the questions, there are ONLY 13. Am I missing something? Over 100 people and thats all the questions,or is that just the good ones they wanted to post to make them selfs look good. Some how I find 13 vary hard to beleve.


Scroll down the page:
Report Released on High School Building
A report released by a firm that evaluates schools buildings for a state commission recently released a study done over the past few months on Perkins High School. The report mentioned a number of concerns about the status of the high school structure. In brief, the report is based on a 100 point scale, with the more points, the worse the condition of the building. Perkins High School was given a score of 92. This study was broken down into five areas: Health - 14/15; Life Safety - 20/20; Structure - 28/30; Heat & Vent - 15/20; Electrical - 15/15.
The report summarizes and lists issues under each category. Pictures are also displayed in the attachment that follows.
Attachments Available To Download:
Perkins HS Site Visit Report-3.pdf


First let me say that I was unable to attend the meeting. When this meeting was announced in the paper, Gunner stated that he would answer questions but it wasn't going to be a debate. To me that means he would only answer questions that had to do with getting the levy passed, not if it was needed, etc. Also it sounds like questions had to be written out on cards and turned in for "the powers that be" to determine which ones to present. Just a couple of possibilities as to why only 13 questions.


That 50 million does include a parking garage..


if the schools are in such bad shape and they get a new building will they fire the custodians? if they have done such a poor job maintaining the building why would you want them maintaining a new one?

Azure Ray

Are you serious? Buildings age, regardless of the maintenance staff.


Here's an idea, County controlled school systems. Then there would be no need for a district to spend the big buck for unneeded superintendents. Sandusky and Perkins officials and bureaucrats need to get their heads out of their a**es and combined the districts. Then you could have one hell of a school system with all new buildings. FOR THE GOOD OF THE CHILDREN. AS IS ALWAYS PREACHED.


Got to say ROTHLMAO That is a good idea.


Mr Gunner said it is not worth fixing. Ware is the cost estament for all the repairs???? How would he know if that has not happen. Other then the 1908 and 1930s part of the school the rest is not that big of a deal when your talking tens of millions for a new one. I think anyone would get a price to fix there home before the just build a new one. If for no other resone, other then to show us tax payers this is why we need this, instead of this is what I WANT. NO TRUST AT ALL


I agree combine these little tax burdens into a lean mean county wide district! It's stupid to have all these duplications. Just get over your sorry childish cliques and combine already!!!