POLAND, Ohio (WKBN) — At Wednesday evening’s board of education meeting, the community and board members discussed plans, costs and designs for the future of Poland’s school buildings.

For the past 11 months, there have been a hundred meetings in Poland as the community works to decide how to proceed with its school buildings.

Mark Salopek and Russell Gayheart of GPD Group — an Akron architectural firm — showed the Poland school board their plans for new schools.

“There’s still a lot of work to do with these designs. This is just kind of a first pass at what we imagine them looking like,” Gayheart said.

“It looks as if we’re on track right now to have three brand-new campuses,” Superintendent Craig Hockenberry said.

There were pictures of each campus:

The K-5 school will be built on the North Elementary site. The 6-8 middle school will go where McKinley stands now. The new Poland Seminary High School will be built behind the current high school.

“We want to make sure that these future facilities offer a place of safety during educational time. That’s been a topic of conversation a lot in the past, and even more recently,” Gayheart said.

The total cost for the three buildings will be $122.9 million.

The Ohio Facilities Construction Commission will provide $17.5 million, leaving Poland property taxpayers with a debt of $105.4 million. The average Poland house — valued at $212,000 — would pay an extra $839 a year. A home worth $600,000 would pay $2,300 per year. The levy would run for 37 years.

But, the Poland school board made no decisions Wednesday evening.

Hockenberry: “That voting will probably take place in the next month or two, because we have to put something on the ballot if that’s the desire.”
Reporter/Anchor Stan Boney: “And at this point, you’re looking at putting it on the ballot in November?”
Hockenberry: “That’s correct, yes.”

If the levy is placed on the ballot and fails — Superintendent Craig Hockenberry says there is a Plan B, which during previous discussions included renovating the existing buildings. However, Hockenberry did not say whether that was still the plan.