WARREN SCHOOLS District hopes for funding

The district could raze all the buildings but one when funds become available.
WARREN -- The city school district is hoping to cash in on the next round of funding by the Ohio School Facilities Commission.
The district has been in line for more than $100 million for the last year. Officials say they were notified in recent weeks the district is not among those getting money this time.
Jim Russo, the district's executive director of business operations, said officials are hoping approval comes in 2002.
The State Controlling Board decided recently which districts would get a piece of this year's $525 million for construction and improvements.
Local districts must put up some funding to be eligible. District voters would have to approve a bond issue to raise the local share.
About 30 districts were told they were eligible for funding this year, Russo said, and of those, 14 will get money.
Last on list: Russo recently took over for Paul McCombs, who has retired. McCombs said earlier this year Warren was last on the list of 30 districts.
An OSFC eligibility list ranks districts based on per-pupil tax valuations over three years.
Some districts larger than Warren were approved for funding in this year's round, Russo said, "and that's why there's so little of the pie left."
He noted that special interests, including charter schools, also received some money.
Officials say they're not sure what happens next but will wait to hear from the OSFC before proceeding with plans.
"We're still on the list" to receive funding, he said. "We just don't know where we stand."
New buildings: The state mandates that schools be replaced if the cost of renovation exceeds by two-thirds the cost of new construction.
Based on that, all of Warren's buildings, with the exception of Western Reserve Middle School, could be demolished and rebuilt.
Warren has 13 elementary schools, three middle schools and a high school.

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