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Wednesday, November 9th, 2011

Voters approve building renovation levy

Fort Recovery schools

By William Kincaid
FORT RECOVERY - Voters in the Fort Recovery school district on Tuesday sided with school officials' proposal to renovate the high school.
They approved a 2.7-mill levy that will generate $3.4 million for the project.
"We're thrilled," superintendent Shelly Vaughn said Tuesday night at the Mercer County Courthouse. "This needs to be done."
"I'm just happy it passed for the community," board of education member Ginny Fortkamp said.
School district residents in Mercer and Darke counties voted 950 for the levy and 709 against, according to unofficial results from the counties' boards of elections.
The $5.07 million renovation project will be funded by the levy, a $240,570 loan through an energy conservation program and $1.4 million of the school's permanent improvement fund. A resident with a $100,000 property will pay $82.69 annually on the 23-year levy.
Some of the planned upgrades include a new energy efficient heating and air conditioning system, roof replacement, a new electrical system, new plumbing and fixtures and a fire alarm upgrade. The renovation proposal was created with help from local contractors and experts.
The energy conservation program of House Bill 264 allowed the school to borrow $240,570 to make energy improvements that will be paid back in energy savings. Energy improvements include lighting retrofits, air filtration systems and kitchen exhaust automation.
Also, Fort Recovery Athletic Boosters will spearhead an effort to create a weight room/athletic complex on the east side of the school, possibly near the band practice field.
The 1935 section of the high school containing the old gym will be demolished after the project is finished. It will be used as swing space during the project.
Major construction will be pursued in the summers, starting in 2012 and finished by 2014.
The renovations will add another 30 to 40 years of life to the building, school officials have said.
Voters last year overwhelmingly rejected building a $10.8 million high school onto the elementary/middle school. That project would have been funded with $5.3 million in local tax dollars and $5.5 million from the Ohio School Facilities Commission.
Additional online stories on this date
The state's collective bargaining law - Senate Bill 5 - was overwhelming axed by voters statewide Tuesday, but local results were quite different. [More]
CELINA - Former city safety service director Jeff Hazel was elected mayor of Celina on Tuesday.
Also new to the city administration will be Betty Strawn, who ousted Emily Stewart as city auditor. [More]
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