August 21, 2008 at 2:10 am 8 comments

Update on Lorain City Schools Facilities Project

The facilities review committee of the Lorain City Schools met for a final time at 6 p.m. tonight to make a recommendation about whether or not the school system should build one or two new high schools and, if one, at what location. The meeting was held at Frank Jacinto Elementary School and the following committee members were in attendance:

· Committee President Antonio Barrios of CHIP

· Vice President Tracy Isenberg, a parent of Lorain City School students

· Jackie Rogers (NAACP)

· Pam Radke (Fine Arts)

· Gloria Nieto (parent)

· Tom Paterson (trade union representative)

· Mayor Anthony Krasienko

After some discussion, the committee made a three-prong recommendation for the Lorain City Schools Board of Education to consider:

1) Approach the state to ask for enough money to build two high schools; although state officials have already rejected this approach, saying that school enrollment is too low to justify two schools, the committee recommends that we ask for reconsideration. Our school system provides opportunities for a wide range of special needs students, who require smaller teacher-to-student ratios; our need for classroom space is therefore greater than other school districts with similar sized student bodies.

2) If the state rejects this request, then the committee recommends a citizen referendum, wherein voters living in the Lorain City Schools district can provide input – through a vote – as to whether they want one or two schools. If the result is that the community wants two schools, then local taxpayers must vote for a large enough tax increase to pay for one of the high schools.

3) If the state rejects this request and if the citizens will not finance the second school with increased taxes, then the committee recommends that the Lorain City Schools build one high school in a neutral location (not on the grounds of the current Lorain Admiral King High School or Southview High School) and choose new school colors.

The committee also recommended that, whether it is decided to build one new high school or two, that an auditorium(s) be included. To quote my report from two weeks ago, “It should be noted that the school district and/or community must raise those funds separately as the state money cannot be used for auditoriums, other than for the installation of a basic sound system. Interest on bond money for the construction can be used towards this purpose but, if costs overrun on the building project(s), then that interest must be paid back in full.”

The next step in the process is for the board of education to receive the recommendations. They can then choose to accept, reject or modify the recommendations made by the committee.

Entry filed under: city of lorain, education.

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8 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Brian Hazelett  |  August 21, 2008 at 2:23 am

    So did the committee decide anything or just throw it back on someone elses shoulders?

    I think that I know the answer that is most likely coming.
    1. The State of Ohio is going to say no. Time is wasted.
    2. The residents are going to want two schools, but unwilling to pay for either. More Yoime wasted.
    3. We are going to spend more time trying to pick out new colors and finding nuetral ground than we will on what is going to go into the new school. More time wasted.

    I think the schools would be wise to pick another committee that would come back with something that won’t take forever to figure out.

  • 2. Loraine Ritchey  |  August 21, 2008 at 2:28 am

    Thanks for covering this Kelly it is appreciated. Were there a lot of people in attendance ?Loraine

  • 3. Mark  |  August 21, 2008 at 2:36 am

    Too many conditions and options and undecideds. As many folks that would like to see 2 schools, ultimately, one high school is going to be the best bet in order to be able to offer as many electives as they can. From my understanding, there’s a handful of students at both high schools that would like certain classes but can’t have them because not enough students at either school request them. Have them all together and they can make it happen.

  • 4. Kelly Boyer Sagert  |  August 21, 2008 at 10:58 am

    Brian — the committee came up with specific recommendations for the elementary schools and the middle schools (in previous meetings) but felt that more options needed explored for this final decision.

    Loraine — the attendance was not great. Someone estimated it at “a couple of dozen” and that is fairly accurate (although it might be a tad generous).

  • 5. Kelly Boyer Sagert  |  August 21, 2008 at 12:40 pm

    Mark — during the meeting two weeks ago, the school superintendent provided materials that stated that, yes. If the schools were combined, the students would have more classes from which to choose. That is a definite plus for the one-school solution.

  • 6. Brian Hazelett  |  August 21, 2008 at 1:55 pm

    I have to agree with Mark. Are our schools going to make the tough decisions to bring back the students or are they going to tip toe around making the choices that they were elected to do.

    What was decided by having this committee?


    That is a tough decision also.

  • 7. Loraine Ritchey  |  August 21, 2008 at 3:28 pm

    Brian sitting on these types of committees is a thankless job at best, these people did not get paid to spend hours doing the research and discussions- damned if you do and damned if you don’t …I think they deserve a round of applause for being involved and trying to come up with solutions. Loraine

  • 8. Bill Sturgill  |  September 4, 2008 at 6:29 pm

    I don’t think there was ever any doubt whether the citizens of Lorain wants 2 high schools. The issue is this. Left alone without even considering the buildings new or old.
    Does the district of Lorain City Schools have the finances to run 2 high schools . With the present enrollment ( 2500) is it a lot smarter to go to one school in order to save money, increase the electives a student has to choose from.
    One school makes since if the administration would promise small class sizes. Solve the logistics of moving children form one side to the other, since the school boad owns no land in the center of Lorain.
    I think Lorain should define more at what the quality of education in Lorain should be. If we went to one high school what would the class sizes look like, what would the curriculum look like.
    The Lorain School District is never going to be successful unless they offer quality upper level courses to attract and challenge students academicaly. Offer the extra caricular activities that parents believe round out there education. If Lorain could bring back 1/3 of the students they have lost over the years, this would go a long way at solving their financial crisis.
    I believe the board is trying. I believe the superintendent is working her tail off. Bottom line is I hope the citizens of Lorain helps buy some time. Nothing is for free, pass the temporary levy and bring back 260 students and good things can happen for education in Lorain. I’ll bet if this happens the high school issue goes away. Just my opinion.

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August 2008

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