Sunday, August 05, 2001

State suggests that Parma close 8 school buildings




The Associated Press

        PARMA, Ohio — A state agency says eight of this Cleveland suburb's 24 public school buildings should be closed because of the cost to bring them up to standards.

        The Ohio School Facilities Commission has offered to provide the Parma School District with $23 million to help with a $232 million modernization program. Local property taxes would have to raise the rest of the money to build two new schools and fix 13 other buildings.

        “That's voodoo math,” said Rep. Dean DePiero, D-Parma, after reviewing the state's deal. He said Friday that the district had figured out a way to renovate schools for half of the state's estimate without closing so many buildings.

        The state's recommendation of cutting the number of elementary school buildings from 15 to nine would force the district to shuffle many of its 6,700 preschool and elementary students to new schools with larger enrollments.

        “We're stunned. It will destroy our neighborhood schools,” school district treasurer Dan Wilson said about the recommendation. Some school buildings in the district house as few as 300 to 350 students, and 12 have fewer than 500 students.

       



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