GIRARD Information on new school available at park

Construction would be complete by fall 2008.
GIRARD -- On Aug. 2, Girard residents will be asked to decide whether they want a new junior-senior high school for the district.
So Wednesday night, school officials and supporters took their message about the 4.9 mill levy out to a ball game at Todd Park. Armed with a breakdown of costs, site plans and voter registration cards, Superintendent Joe Jeswald stood by, ready to answer questions.
"On an average night," Jeswald said, "about 20 to 25 people turn out to receive information about the project."
Estimated cost for the new school is $28 million, of which the Ohio School Facilities Commission will pay 76 percent. Taxpayers will pay the remaining 24 percent, about $5.4 million.
The school will be built on land now occupied by the Mahoning Country Club. Purchase price for the 110-acre site is $4.5 million. The district will not buy the land unless the levy passes.
The cost of the building and property would be spread out over 28 years. The state requires a half-mill to be set aside for building maintenance; that amount must be paid back over 23 years.
Construction would be complete by fall 2008.
Paula Williams, at the park to watch the game, stopped by to look over the site plan. Williams, a graduate of Girard schools, says she likes the design. "I like that the junior high is in a separate wing," she said.
With five children attending district schools, Williams believes the new school is really needed.
Richard Trimbu, also a Girard alumnus says, "I sympathize with paying taxes but paying taxes has to be for the right thing and a new high school is the right thing."
Not everyone agrees.
A longtime Girard resident who came to the park to watch the game said he doesn't support the levy.
"I don't plan on voting for it," said the man, who declined to give his name. "It's just too much taxing."
Residents who haven't seen the plans or have additional questions will have another chance tonight at Todd Park from 5:30 to 7 p.m.
Meetings are also scheduled for every Wednesday in July at the following locations:
July 6: Girard High School
July 13: Creekside Dome
July 20: Multigeneration Center (old Tod Woods School)
July 27: Girard High School
All meetings are at 7 p.m.

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