CANFIELD, Ohio (WKBN) – The committee formed to recommend how to proceed with rebuilding the Canfield school system made its recommendation after a meeting Thursday evening.

The plan includes building a new elementary school and a new middle school, along with renovating the high school.

The 50-person Canfield Facilities Committee met Thursday evening for the 10th time in the high school media center. First News was not allowed in the meeting, but one man said it was intense and one woman said she was frustrated.

We spoke with Superintendent Joe Knoll afterward.

Reporter Stan Boney: “The discussion — was it intense, was it loud, was it passionate?”
Knoll: “It was all the above. At the end of the day, though everybody’s heart’s in the right place, and that’s what really bonds Canfield together.”

What the committee will recommend to the school board is to build a new K-4 building at Hilltop and a new middle school on the site of the current middle school. The high school will be renovated. The total cost is $104 million.

School Board Vice President Nader Atway said the plan passed with about 60% of the vote.

“Obviously, I’d like to see it more definitive. But you also know when you have six plans to choose from, there’s going to be divide,” Atway said.

At an open house two weeks ago, three plans were presented to the public for consideration. But between then and today, three more were added for a total of six. One plan included building a new high school.

The plan recommended by the committee will now be sent to the school board, which has the final say.

Atway: “The six plans that were there were strong and now we just have to make sure we do our due diligence from a full board.”
Boney: “Now, the board can cherry-pick, they can do whatever they want to do, right?”
Atway: “Absolutely, absolutely. If they feel like there’s maybe an excess cost that, and they want to go ahead and be selective with a portion of the plan, that could happen. Those discussions will have to happen with the full board.”

A similar levy to build new schools in Canfield failed a year ago with 72% of voters opposing it. The plan is to put the new levy on the November ballot.

The school board is expected to make its decision at a meeting on May 10.