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Austintown residents press school officials on need for new high school



Published: Thu, April 3, 2014 @ 11:14 p.m.

AUSTINTOWN

A smaller crowd led to longer and follow-up questions from residents who came out to hear about a proposed bond to build a new Austintown high school.

Many fewer people attended Thursday night’s board of education meeting than the dozens who came out last month to the first town hall about the proposed 4.1-mill capital improvements bond.

Only 10 to 15 heard school district officials explain why the bond should be approved in the May 6 election, so they were not asked to write their questions on index cards for a moderator to choose from. Instead, residents were allowed to raise their hand and ask even follow-up questions of levy committee co-chairwomen Lori Gavalier and Kim Smrek and district officials.

Three residents in particular had multiple concerns from maintenance to long-term planning for replacement of specific building parts, such as water heaters, to the overall building.

A primary point of contention, however, was when the district knew Fitch needed to be replaced and why that wasn’t communicated better to the public.

Read more about the discussion in Friday's Vindicator or on Vindy.com.


Comments

1Dagwood(111 comments)posted 5 months, 2 weeks ago

Sorry Fitch not a chance in H*ll. Building a new High School is a fool's investment, and anyone who votes yes I got some ocean front property to sell you. I will agree with most that there is significant replacement and maintenance needed, however, that cost will be far less than a complete demo and rebuild.

Basic politics will predict your yes votes will come from teachers, administrators, school staff and 50% of those with school age children. The rest of Austintown will vote no. Stop wasting time and tax payer money and get some contractor estimates to start fixing the school.

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2FifthAve(168 comments)posted 5 months, 2 weeks ago

The big picture reveals that there is a need for a high-tech high school to support the elementary and middle school plans in Austintown. These are 21st century schools; and though I love Fitch, it opened in 1970's. Austintown students deserve better.

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3Atowncomm(14 comments)posted 5 months, 2 weeks ago

Have you attended a meeting about this bond issue and have you looked at the details? I have attended one of the meetings and was surprised to find out that, despite what I thought about the general appearance of the high school building, there are expensive and large systems within the building that need to be replaced. The cost to replace or repair these systems are almost 75% of the cost of building a new building. As tax payers, we have to be foolish not to consider this. Repairing the current building is too costly. And since the state is providing almost half of the funding to build a new school, this is a good deal for our community. The numbers sold me to agree to build a new building.

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