Perrysburg asks voters for $140 million for schools


PERRYSBURG – The school district will ask residents to support a 5.95-mill bond to address the district’s booming enrollment and aging buildings.

At Tuesday’s board of education meeting, members unanimously approved a resolution to proceed with placing the issue on the Nov. 7 ballot.

The millage will raise $140 million to construct new school facilities, renovate and expand existing buildings, furnish and equip buildings and acquire land.

The cost to taxpayers would be $208 annually for each $100,000 in appraised value, or $521 a year ($42.35 per month) for a home valued at $250,000.

The millage will be collected for a period not to exceed 36 years.

“We know that we’re facing a growing student population and we have aging buildings,” said Superintendent Tom Hosler.

“There’s never a good time to come to the voters and say we need your help financially,” he said. “Not acting now will continue to incur additional costs … and going to the voters in future years is going to be at a much steeper price than it is today.”

The facilities planning committee spent more than 15 months considering all options.

“They did a ton of work,” said board member Lori Reffert.

The committee confirmed what the administration was sensing, board member Sue Larimer said to the approximately 17 committee members at the meeting.

“The research that you did gave us the directions that need to be handled,” she said.

Phase 1 includes:

New 800 student elementary in the southwest quadrant of the district, $35.2 million.

High school classroom, cafeteria additions and site work, $32.5 million.

Deferred maintenance at Fort Meigs, Toth and Woodland elementaries, $26.5 million.

Fort Meigs, Toth and Woodland additions, $25.2 million.

Junior high deferred maintenance, $15.5 million.

Steinecker Stadium – new restrooms and entrance, $2.5 million.

Transportation garage addition, $1.5 million.

High school boilers/chillers, $1.2 million.

The total of this phase is $140 million.

The facilities planning committee, which had around 50 members, recommended Frank Elementary continue being used until the three existing elementary schools are expanded and the new elementary school opens. The facility then can be used as a preschool.

Perrysburg’s preschool, which serves approximately 206 students, is currently located in Maumee at Union Elementary.

The district has applied to the Ohio Facilities Construction Commission and if approved should get up to 30% reimbursement – or $42 million — from the state once Perrysburg becomes eligible.

That could be three-five years from now, Hosler said.

He said it depends on the districts ahead of Perrysburg on the OFCC list. If they all start projects, it could push Perrysburg back to 10 years. If only a few pass their own bond issues, it could be a couple years.

The reimbursement can go toward financing Phase 2 or used to pay down the debt, Hosler said.

If funding is approved in November, the new elementary could be ready to open at the end of 2026, according to graphics shared at the meeting.

The last time the district added two schools in one decade was Toth in 1952 and Frank in 1968.

Hull Prairie Intermediate School opened in 2017.

“There’s a cost of doing nothing and even that was eye-opening,” Reffert said.

The district cannot turn students away, Hosler said, and must serve every student whether there is space or not.

Options discussed by the facilities planning committee included sending students to school in shifts (morning and afternoon) and adding more modular classrooms.

Currently, there are five modulars with 16 classrooms at Woodland, Fort Meigs and Frank elementaries. Another 40 would be needed – some at every building — to address growth in enrollment. The cost of adding that many modulars is estimated at $7.59 million.

“This is not what we want for our future generations,” Hosler said of the committee’s opinion on modulars.

Since 2012, the school district has grown by 19% or 919 students.

An example Hosler gave Tuesday was the 2010-11 kindergarten class, which had 302 students. That class, as seniors this year, grew by 127 students.

“That continues to be the trend in every single grade level,” he said. “We need a plan to accommodate this growth.”

Generations of students will benefit from the proposal, Hosler said.

“We’re building for Perrysburg’s future today,” he said.

The preliminary Phase 2, which is estimated to cost $63.8 million, includes:

Junior high school additions, deferred maintenance and site work, $29.7 million.

Hull Prairie Intermediate additions, $5 million.

Multi-purpose space at the high school, $23.3 million.

Deferred maintenance at Frank Elementary, $5.8 million.

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