Classrooms crowded at Perrysburg
Written by PETER KUEBECK/Sentinel Staff Writer
Tuesday, 26 March 2013 08:56
PERRYSBURG — Classroom crowding was again urgently on the minds of the Perrysburg School Board Monday night.
At a special meeting held at the Commodore Building, the body heard of climbing all-day kindergarten numbers, and gave an initial nod to more portable classrooms to meet the continuing demand.
Superintendent Tom Hosler told the board that, as of Monday, approximately 66 percent of students enrolling in kindergarten for the next school year were choosing ADK, necessitating increased space. He said that the district will be adding another ADK section at Frank Elementary next year, making a total of six district-wide.
ADK has the potential to be mandated statewide, at a cost of approximately $500,000 to the district annually.
A possible method discussed to help alleviate this and other crowding issues was the purchase of additional portable classrooms. The district has used 16 portable classrooms at its schools in recent years.
“Sylvania Schools just completed the last building in their building project, and they have portable classrooms that are available,” said Hosler.
The cost to purchase the classrooms is $15,000; to move and install the units, each of which would include two classrooms, would be a minimum of $231,000 total, without additional upgrades. Three portables would be installed at Frank, and two at Fort Meigs Elementary.
District Treasurer and CFO Matt Feasel said that some permanent improvement levy funds held in reserve could be used to purchase and install the classrooms; the reserve is currently at about $500,000. The items discussed when the PI was originally voted on would not be affected by the purchase.
Hosler recommended moving forward with the purchase of the portables, and said he could also look into the price of new units for the board to compare.
“These will look very similar to what we have at the junior high,” said Hosler.
Member Walt Edinger said he didn’t feel the need to wait for new units.
“So this plan accomplishes (the space needs for) this year?” asked Edinger.
“Correct,” said Hosler.
The board gave assent to go move ahead with the project; an official vote for the purchase of the units was not needed because it is beneath the threshold requiring a board vote. The final package of purchasing and moving the portables, however, will be voted on by the board at a future meeting. After notifying Sylvania of the intent to buy the units, a request for proposals will be put out for firms to bid on the movement and installation of the portables, and the district will present the matter to the Planning and Zoning Committee of council, possibly as early as next month.
“It’s not a fun problem to have, but it’s certainly a better problem to have than to talk about closing schools, eliminating positions and bussing kids across the district,” said Hosler, noting later that “it’s a temporary solution.”
The board discussed other issues related to crowding at a meeting last week.
The district’s student population of more than 4,800, spread out over four elementary schools, a junior high and a high school, continues to grow at a rate of about 70 students per year, and is creating a significant crowding issue. A growing number of elementary classes are over the recommended class size of 25 students.
Last year, a 16-member Strategic Facilities Committee supported a $38 million plan to build a new seventh and eighth grade building on the high school campus, and use the current junior high for fifth and sixth graders. A levy would need to be passed in 2014 or 2015 to move forward. The new building could then prospectively open in 2018. The board has not voted on the plan.
In other business, the board:
• Approved the resignation of Woodland Elementary Principal Daniel Creps, who was named the superintendent of the Rossford School District earlier this month. His resignation will be effective March 31.
• Approved the hiring of William McFarland as interim principal of Woodland Elementary, effective April 8, on an as-needed basis. The agreement, paying McFarland $425 per day, will be through the rest of the school year. McFarland was most recently interim superintendent at Rossford.
“We’re very excited for you to be joining us for the rest of the year,” said Hosler.
“I’m looking forward to ending my career here in Perrysburg,” McFarland said at the meeting.
• Discussed a timeline regarding energy saving projects in the district, as well as the issue of cost versus savings. It was recommended that the board meet and discuss their questions with firms related to the issue at next month’s work session.
• Gave a first reading to a teacher evaluation policy.
• Went into executive session for the purpose of negotiations. No action was taken.
Last Updated on Tuesday, 26 March 2013 09:00