Thursday, December 18, 2003

Fort Thomas schools begin building planning

By Karen Gutierrez
The Cincinnati Enquirer

FORT THOMAS - During parent-teacher conferences at Woodfill Elementary School this year, some folks wore their coats and winter scarves. The heat in the 1930s-era building is just that spotty, parent Karen Allen says.

She chairs a district-wide committee that wants to hear public input on such problems. The Fort Thomas district can issue bonds to raise up to $8.4 million for construction, and it has four aging schools that need attention, Superintendent Larry Stinson says.

A forum on what should be done will be 7:30 p.m. Jan. 14 in the media center at Highlands High School.

Allen's committee of 17 will sort out the responses and come up with a master plan, which will be the subject of another public hearing. State law requires the process.

"We're No. 1 in the state from an academic standpoint. A lot of people would say, 'If you have that, what do you need new facilities for?' " Allen said.

Her answer: The district could do even more with better buildings. Programs are limited. Woodfill, for instance, had to give up its science lab this year so it could be used as a classroom, Allen said.

Architects will help the committee determine what needs to be done, said Stinson. The board eventually may need to explore other funding options, he said.


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