CANFIELD, Ohio (WKBN) – School district officials met with parents and residents Wednesday night to discuss the futures of some school buildings.

The officials laid out how they want to proceed with a new master plan for revitalizing and possibly rebuilding school buildings. After the failed bond issue to raise more than $100 million dollars, superintendent Joe Knoll says they’re starting planning from square one, and they need feedback from the community.

Canfield Local Schools sent out a survey over the summer polling residents about why the bond issue failed. Knoll officially presented those results.

The survey shows that almost 80% of respondents believe the district was asking for too much money, but 75% think the middle school needs replaced.

“One of the things we’ve learned through this is that this master plan needs to be community-driven,” says Cheryl Fisher of ThenDesign Architecture.

ThenDesign Architecture is helping the district put together the master plan. Fisher, who is one of the firm’s representatives, says costs of upkeep to the century-old middle school building is starting to become too burdensome.

“Our facilities’ needs, because of our aging facilities — especially the middle school — are now outweighing the financial ability to keep up with those needs,” says Fisher.

Data from the Ohio Facilities Construction Commission shows building costs have gone up more than $150 per square foot of building in the last 10 years.

“We hope that the market tames down. But historically, what we do know is that the costs never go 100% back. As time continues, the cost will increase,” says Fisher.

Starting in mid-October, the district will host a series of meetings on each school.

“We’re going to spend some time specifically in each building talking about their pluses and minuses, what’s going on in there. And once again, taking building tours,” says Knoll.

By April 2023, district officials hope to have a new master plan the community will like, which will then be presented to the board.

The upcoming meeting schedule is as follows:

  • 6-7 p.m. Oct. 19 at Hilltop Elementary
  • 6-7 p.m. Oct. 26 at C.H. Campbell Elementary
  • 6-7 Nov. 16 at Canfield Village Middle School
  • 6-7 p.m. Dec. 7 at Canfield High