August 22, 2014

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Surplus means Vermilion High will get fixes

Vermilion Schools Superintendent Phil Pempin speaks at a public forum on the  proposed re-organization of Vermilion schools in 2010. CHRONICLE FILE PHOTO

Vermilion Schools Superintendent Phil Pempin speaks at a public forum on the proposed re-organization of Vermilion schools in 2010. CHRONICLE FILE PHOTO

VERMILION — The Vermilion Board of Education is finally coming to the end of its 5-year plan to renovate and consolidate the schools; and after all the work, they’re left with a $10 million surplus.

“It’s a lot of effort,” Vermilion Schools Superintendent Phil Pempin said of the project.

In a meeting Wednesday, Pempin laid out a plan to use the surplus to renovate Vermilion High School, which he hopes will be finished by the end of the summer.

With the extra money, Pempin said he would like to accomplish more than basic renovations. He outlined a plan to fix floor tiles in the middle school gym and music room and move the offices of the Vermilion school board to the front of the building where the counseling offices are now. He also said he and architects who are working on the project have planned to turn the cafeterias from the middle and high schools into college-style areas where students can serve themselves. Finally, he plans to have LED lights installed around the perimeter of the school and refurbish the music room, which he said should be completed by 2015.

The renovation of the high school is the final phase in the board’s three-phase consolidation of schools around Vermilion that also sold off buildings that used to be schools. Last month, the board held an auction to sell the former Lake School in which The YMCA of Greater Cleveland offered $100,000 to buy the building.

Pempin said the board also began construction on the kindergarten through third grade school. Since the district allocated $20 million for that and only used half of that, they are left with the extra funds to refurbish the high school, he said.

Pempin also explained that this money comes as a result of the school district saving money for the consolidation project since 2009.

Contact Anna Merriman at 329-7245 or amerriman@chroniclet.com. Follow her on Twitter at @AnnaLMerriman.