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Wednesday, November 19th, 2008

Residents attend school construction project meeting

Next community meeting is Dec. 8 at Celina High School

By William Kincaid
Nearly 50 people attended a first community engagement meeting to discuss a possible Ohio School Facilities Commission (OSFC) construction project last month, Superintendent Matt Miller said during a regular board meeting this week.
The initial meeting on Oct. 28, intended to gather community ideas and opinions, was open to the public but specific Celina individuals were targeted and sent an invitation to the event.
"Just community people who have ties to the business community and (have) students who have either gone to school or go to school," Miller told the newspaper.
Also, people with stakes in the community were invited, he said.
Officials from selected architect Fanning/Howey Inc., Celina, and the school administration picked those who would be sent an invitation during a brainstorming session of administrators, Miller said.
Administrators, school em-ployees and 32 people from the community responded to various questions by a clicker system. The clickers were provided to attendees by Fanning/Howey.
The next community engagement meeting is 6:30 p.m. Dec. 8 at the Celina High School, probably in the cafeteria, Miller said.
Celina Superintendent Matt Miller, with the consultation of board members, decided to delay accepting money from the Ohio School Facilities Commission (OSFC) in September.
Miller said he told the OSFC that Celina would reconsider the OSFC program offer in May, when school officials know what kind of construction initiative to pursue.
Celina, like many other Ohio school districts, was caught off guard at the early notification, Miller said. It would be impossible to create a master plan - or comprehensive long-term district plan - or gather opinions from the community by the deadline of Sept. 15.
This summer, Miller said any possible construction or renovation project would probably start with the elementary facilities, which are approaching 55 to 60 years old.
However, he said school officials won't decide what direction to take until the community engagement process is completed.
The unofficial word from OSFC officials is that the state will fund 44 percent of the project leaving the community with 56 percent.
Additional online story on this date
Scott Spears, a 20-year-old Celina man who faces charges for doing doughnuts on the courthouse lawn in November and for fleeing from officers in October, was arrested again - this time for stealing diesel fuel from a semitrailer. [More]
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