PERRY TOWNSHIP — Perry Township voters will vote on building a new elementary school in November.
School district officials are asking voters to support a 4.05 mill property tax levy over 37 years to pay for the project. Current project estimates are $14 million with about 52 percent being picked up through the Ohio School Facilities Commission for the project.
The board had deferred their decision a few times to try and get the best deal for district taxpayers, and they felt now was the time to build.
“It paid to wait, and we improved our position,” said school board president Bill Shively.
The project will entail a new 57,000-square-foot building that will be directly attached to the middle school and will feature a cafetorium. It will also feature technological and utility upgrades.
“Technology is needed in education today,” said board member Dave West. “We feel our kids deserve an upgraded facility.”
Shively said community support has been overwhelmingly positive for the levy. He said a lot of people see the need and he expects the levy to pass. He said the new building would resolve several issues that the district faces, such as walking elementary kids to the cafeteria daily.
“That can be a task in the winter,” Shively said. “This would eliminate that.”
Herb Lauer has been a teacher for 34 years in the school district. He said the current building is great and has provided a great education for many students. However, he said a new building would make the educational experience even better.
“A new building would cover a lot of problems we face,” Lauer said. “Technological improvements is the most obvious. It would also help with problems of storage, heating in the winter and cooling in the summer, the bell system and clocks and electrical outlets. Yeah, what we have works. But let’s make it better.”
District superintendent Omer Schroeder said the current building was built in 1931. It is the smallest traditional public school system in Allen County, and more than 40 percent of its students are open enrollment students.
“It’s been a great facility,” Schroeder said. “However, this is our chance. We have seen lots of other school districts get new buildings. Now it is our turn.”
The Perry Township Trustees, the Perry Education Association, Allen Economic Development Group and Lima Allen Council on Community Affairs all have passed official resolutions in support of the levy.
Based on a $100,000 home, the levy would cost a homeowner about $142 annually.