Streetsboro -- With about 25 residents attending, school leaders and project architect Michael DiMaio of FMD Architects outlined some of the history of the school district's facilities master plan, and the need for it to be completed.
They also entertained questions and comments from the crowd at the event, which was organized by People's Alliance for Streetsboro Schools.
DiMaio said the district has made a variety of good choices over the years, including acquiring the Route 14 property for a new high school.
The trade several years ago between Streetsboro Land Group and the School Board was good for the district, he said. At that time, the district owned land in what is now Meadowview Estates along Route 43 while Streetsboro Land Group owned the proposed site for the high school along Route 14.
"Route 14 is a far better site," said DiMaio. "[The school] can fit on the site very comfortably with land to grow. We haven't really affected the wooded are behind here at all."
DiMaio acknowledged school leaders have heard questions about traffic and safety at the Route 14 site, and said the district would receive state help improving Route 14 to accommodate the school.
"The state provides approximately $300,000 for off-site improvement," he said. "That's a really big point. This is a wonderful piece of ground, but some feel it's too busy."
Streetsboro High School Assistant Principal James Hogue said there is at least one other benefit of the Route 14 site, related to traffic.
"Getting all the teenage drivers away from the other buildings is a good thing," he said.
In a video shown at the meeting, School Board member Andy Lesak said the district shouldn't pass up the $24 million plus the state would contribute to the project.
"It's like we won the lottery," he said. "I'm excited by money. I think of the $24 million coming from the state to our schools. That, in essence, equates to virtually a free high school."
Superintendent Michael Daulbaugh told attendees the plan is about much more than a new high school.
"This is our opportunity for the Streetsboro City Schools to rebuild the entire district's facilities," he said. "We're also receiving credit for what the district's already built since 2001."
Some of the items the district has received credit for include the construction of Henry Defer Intermediate School ($6.4 million), fire damage repairs and renovations at Streetsboro High School ($1.5 million), the addition of four science labs at the high school ($2.2 million), parking lot improvements at the high school ($208,000), an addition to Campus Elementary School ($2.06 million), improvements at the Campus parking lot ($47,000) and improvements to the high school stadium ($675,000), totaling about $13.1 million in credit, according to a presentation by the district during a June School Board meeting.
The district has paid for those projects out of pocket over the years since it joined the state's Expedited Local Partnership in 2002 but would be reimbursed for 35 percent of the costs after providing the local match, the bond issue, for the master plan.
If the School Board hadn't joined the state program then, DiMaio said the district would have to provide a larger percentage of the cost.
The high school track and stadium also was discussed in the video shown at the meeting, which was produced by Streetsboro High School teacher Jim Boardwine in his free time. Tom Fesemeyer, the track coach, said the last home meet for the district probably took place some time in the late 1990s.
"We have a number of track and field athletes, who have gone to state recently, and it's really kind of a shame because they can't really practice here," said Eric Rauschkolb, principal at Streetsboro High School.
According to Dave Clark, custodian at the high school, the stands which were recently erected can be transplanted to a new location on Route 14 if the bond issue is approved.
According to the June presentation, a new stadium at Route 14 would cost $1.69 million, which would be paid for by the bond.
FB: The Gateway News/Bob Gaetjens