Bond issue set for Feb. 6 to update buildings

The bond issue would allow the district to borrow 51.5 million.
BOARDMAN -- Cheryl Dutko, who has a second-grader at Robinwood Lane Elementary School, worries that her son attends classes in a trailer behind the school.
Dutko, who also has two daughters at Glenwood Middle School, spoke Tuesday at a news conference about the school district's 3.5-mill bond issue on the Feb. 6 special election ballot.
The issue would allow the district to borrow 51.5 million through the sale of bonds to be repaid with interest over 28 years.
"Every time a tornado warning comes across the screen, my first concern is whether he can get to the main building in time," Dutko said.
Robinwood has four trailers for pupils behind the school because it lacks classroom space inside the building.
If the bond issue, which failed in November by about 1,000 votes, passes next month, about 6.8 million of the amount would go to Robinwood.
That includes eliminating the portable classrooms, adding 11 new classrooms and a new gymnasium, expanding parking, providing storage space and installing air conditioning and new doors and windows throughout the school.
"We're asking for improved buildings, and to us, this is the way it needs to happen," Dutko said.
Superintendent Frank Lazzeri said the school board decided to place the bond issue back on the February ballot at the urging of a group of parents.
Robinwood Lane, built in 1957, houses 370 pupils and is the district's newest elementary school.
The superintendent said that a fence around the trailers was installed a few years ago to address parents' concerns about intruders.
Jan Johnson, a teacher at Robinwood for 12 years, said her pupils contend with high temperatures inside her classroom in the spring and fall.
Her second-grade classroom is on the east side of the building, and the sun reflects off the blacktop outside and into the windows, making the temperatures inside rise.
"It's not conducive to learning," Johnson said. "The kids get lethargic in the afternoon and put their heads down on their desks."
The high school, built in 1969, is the district's newest school building.
Center Middle School, the former high school built in 1911 with additions in 1916, 1931 and 1953, is the district's oldest school building.
If the bond issue is approved, Center would get a cafeteria on its first floor.
The cafeteria is now on the third floor, and with no elevator, crates of food brought to the school for pupil lunches must be loaded onto a dumbwaiter to get to the third floor.
The third-floor cafeteria would be converted to a media center, and the media center, on the second floor, would be converted to two or three regular classrooms.
Air conditioning and an elevator also would be added as well as wider pupil lockers and new floors in many classrooms.
About 11.6 million in renovations is planned for Center Middle if the bond issue passes, school officials said.

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