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Austintown proposes building a new high school

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AUSTINTOWN, Ohio - Austintown taxpayers have paid for three new schools in the past seven years, and district officials say now is the time to build a new high school.

At a town hall meeting, residents who are still paying off a new elementary, intermediate, and middle school had mixed opinions on the cost of building a new high school.

"There are a number of people in this school district who simply can't afford that extra $200 a year to pay for this school," said Resident David Daichendt.

"We have a chance to build a new state of the art school here and educate the young people in Austintown the way they need to be educated, it's no brainer to me," said Resident Jack Kidd.

District officials say the improvements to the nearly 50 year-old are desperately needed.

The proposed bond issue, if passed, would take advantage of an offer by the state to pick-up nearly half the cost of rebuilding.

Tax payers would be responsible for about $37-million, plus another $9-million for the refurbishing of the auditorium, gym, and football stadium.

The breakdown: about $145 per year, for the owner of a $100-thousand home.

"This is a monumental time in the state of Ohio where they are partnering to build schools," said Superintendent Vince Colaluca.  "We don't know if this is ever going to happen again."

Officials did compare the cost to re-build the school to the cost to renovate. Bottom line: it would cost less but the state will not pay for renovations, at this time.

"We don't want us to turn down this opportunity from the state then 3, 4, 5 years from now we have major issues with Fitch (High School), which we know we will because the building is old and we don't have the dollars to refurb it," said Colaluca.

If the bond issue passes, the new building would be built just north of it's current location- the final piece to the communities state-of-the-art kindergarten through 12th grade campus.

"I think we'd set our community up for the next 50 years, where we wouldn't have to come back and say, 'hey we need buildings," said Colaluca.

 

 

 

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