The state building assistance program is geared to replacing or repairing
rundown or outdated buildings in school districts ranking in the bottom
10 percent in terms of wealth. Windham is Ohio's 11th poorest district.
Under the terms of a plan the state board of education has tentatively
approved, Katherine Thomas Elementary School will be demolished and a new
building erected in its place. The district will also gain a new high school,
and East Elementary School and Windham Junior High School will receive renovations
"There are going to be a lot of changes as you go through this,"
Windham schools Superintendent Vince Frammartino told Windham's board members.
"Nothing is written in stone. Even the $20.6 million is not written
The state board must grant final approval before the plan can be implemented.
Windham board members expect to choose a project architect, as well as
approve placement of a 23-year, 2.83-mill bond issue on the November ballot
when it meets Wednesday. Under the terms of the state building assistance
program, district voters must approve the levy or the $20.6 million will
not be released.
In Windham, one mill can generate up to $32,000 annually.
Architects in the running are Fanning Howey of Dublin and Ricciuti Balog
and Partners of Youngstown. Board members last week toured schools across
northeastern Ohio in an effort to get a feel for each firm's work.
Frammartino said he also polled some half-dozen districts "to find
out the good, the bad and the ugly" about each firm.
"They gave me no ugly or bad. They say nothing but great things
about these companies," he said.