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Ravenna eyes new buildings

State would fund 72% of cost for new schools

By DIANE SMITH Staff Writer Published: March 21, 2017 4:00 AM
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The Ravenna School District may once again start the long process of seeking state funds to replace one or more of its aging school buildings after learning that the state's share of such a project has gone up substantially.

It's unclear which, if any, of the school buildings would be replaced under such a process. Ravenna High School, which opened in 2010, is the only building in the district constructed in the 21st century.

The oldest building in the school district is Rausch Elementary School, which is more than 100 years old. The district still owns the school, but has not used it to house students for nearly a decade. All other buildings in the district were constructed between 1952 and 1974.

Treasurer David Hoskin said the Board of Education's decision Monday to authorize the "active planning process" with the Ohio School Facilities Commission is the first step in the process. Superintendent Dennis Honkala said that process could take about five years to complete.

Whatever project the district goes forward with would qualify for 72 percent state funding, Hoskin said. The state share is nearly 20 percent greater than the portion paid by the OFSC for the high school.

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"It's a big benefit for the community," he said.

The district would need to do a number of enrollment, cost and site studies before moving forward with the process, Hoskin noted.

Superintendent Dennis Honkala noted that all those studies would need to be done before making the decision of which building or buildings would need to be replaced.

"It's a long, long road ahead," he said, adding that there is no financial commitment at this point.

In other action, the board approved a contract with the Cuyahoga County Educational Service Center for an online learning program, which will be known as the Raven Academy. A handful of students will begin the program after spring break, Honkala said.

Contracts were renewed for a number of administrators in the district. They included Benjamin Ribelin, director of teaching and learning for elementary grades, who got a two-year contract. One-year contracts were issued to William Wisniewski, director of business operations, and Robert Mittiga, principal of Carlin Elementary School.

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Crestwood387 Mar 28, 2017 8:00 PM

Ravenna just only needs 1 large elementary school and build it on the old high school site. We don't need West Main, West Park, Carlin and Willyard. Crestwood School was smart closing all their elementary school and build one prmary and one intermediate school.

dowhatsright Mar 22, 2017 11:47 AM

Well apparently what they are saying is that the building and not the teachers is what educates our children. Didn’t we just close one school because of dropping enrollment? If they can come up with a way of getting the new school WITHOUT raising the taxes of the FEES , then I might be for it. Just remember there is more than one school. So which school will be relplaced and where will it be buit?