July 24, 2014

Elyria
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Sheffield-Sheffield Lake levy passes; new grade 7 through 12 school to be built

SHEFFIELD LAKE — The economy might be tough, but voters Tuesday made a long commitment to the Sheffield-Sheffield Lake Schools, passing a 4.94-mill bond issue to construct a grade seven through 12 school that will replace the aging middle school and allow Brookside High School to be turned into an intermediate school.

The levy passed 1,104 to 917 or 54.63 percent to 45.37 percent according to unofficial election returns.

“It’s very exciting,” said Schools Superintendent Will Folger. “What we heard all along was that no one doubted the need for new buildings; the only question was could they afford it and make the sacrifice.”

The 4.94-mill levy will cost the owner of a $100,000 home an extra $151 per year and run for 34 years.

The bond issue will raise $2.78 million a year and allow the district to issue bonds for $31 million and launch the first phase of what is envisioned as a three-phase project.

Folger said the current 88-year-old middle school was well past its prime and a science classroom is known as the “shroom room” because mushrooms grow there.

It will take a year to plan the new grade seven through 12 school and another 18 months to build it, he said. If all goes well, it’s possible the new building could be open as soon as 2013, Folger said.

As soon as students move into the new building, Brookside High School built in 1967 will need only minor modifications to become an intermediate school for grades four to six, Folger said.

The district plans to close Barr and Forestlawn elementaries and prekindergartners through first-graders would attend Knollwood Elementary built in 1956 and second and third-graders would attend Tennyson Elementary built in 1948.

By embarking on a school building project now, the district hopes to qualify for an estimated $9 million to $10 million of money for a new elementary school when the district’s turn comes up for money from the Ohio School Facilities Commission. That is the third phase of the $50 million building project.

The new grade seven through 12 building will be constructed on 52 acres that the school board bought in the 1990s north of the high school.

Contact Cindy Leise at 329-7245 or cleise@chroniclet.com.