CANFIELD, Ohio (WKBN) – Wednesday evening, the superintendent of schools, by way of a 40-person committee, recommended a plan to the school board to build and renovate the schools in Canfield.
The plan included a new K-4 building at Hilltop, a new middle school at the current site and renovation of the high school.
But when it came time for the board to comment, two big changes were suggested and no decisions were made.
“I think this needs tweaked a little bit,” said Canfield School Board member Dave Wilkeson.
Wilkeson began the discussion on whether the plan presented was viable.
“The predominant thinking is that these bonds will not pass,” he said.
Wilkeson says there are two definites, that Canfield Middle School and C.H. Campbell Elementary must be demolished because they’re beyond repair. He also questioned the safety factor of building schools while kids are near them and if there is enough land to build a new middle school on the current site.
“We are crushing a building into that space behind the middle school, particularly, a three-story building. The reason it has to be three stories is it’s such a small space,” Wilkeson said.
Fellow board member Bob Smallwood suggested building a new middle school away from the center of town, on land owned by the school board.
“We need to utilize that Shields Road property. That property is completely vacant and is something we need to think about. It’s outside the box,” Smallwood said.
Smallwood then suggested building the new elementary school where the middle school now stands.
“That location to me, in my eyes, screams elementary school,” Smallwood said.
Superintendent Joe Knoll mostly listened, reminding the board at one point that a decision was needed soon to get a bond issue on the November ballot.
“In June, we need to pass a resolution that basically says here’s the dollars. The site, all those things, are basically irrelevant,” Knoll said.
Board President Traci Decapua asked for a work session between the board and the facilities committee to find a solution.
Wilkeson reminded everyone that something needs to be done.
“Let’s say we put this on and it’s defeated. We’re going to have to keep putting it on, over and over again, and it’s just going to get more and more expensive,” he said.