Scott High renovation plans a go, but no promises from board

Reported by Tim Miller - bio | email

Posted by Nick Dutton - email

TOLEDO, Ohio (WTOL) - Plans are moving forward to renovate Toledo's oldest high school, but some board members say it could be a big waste of money.

The school board took a vote Tuesday night that would help the physical well being of Scott High School, in the old west end on Collingwood. But the board says the academics and reputation have to improve for renovations to be worth it.

With a unanimous vote, the school board approved preliminary plans to renovate Scott High as part of segment five of the building for success construction program.

If the board finds the renovation is not financially feasible, it could instead build two new smaller high schools. Scott's enrollment is currently about a thousand students.

Alumni admit it'll take more than a building improvement to stop the flow, to other schools.

"Part of that is improving the curriculum. Improving the advanced placement courses, improving the things that are going to make the district thrive, that's going to bring students in. Students are going to leave if they see there is no hope there," says alumni Al Jackson.

That's what's fueling the board members' concerns.

"But I have a feeling that our efforts will fail if we don't do something aggressively, and you all need to know that now, so you don't come back and say you misled us," says Toledo School Board member Bob Vasquez.

"But we got to put the pride and the professionalism back into that building and back into that community," says board member Lisa Sobecki.

The board president, Dr. Steven Steel,  called for a boost in morale for students and staff.

"To really believe that when they walk through those doors, that it's going to be a good day and what they do there matters."

The school district must still find about 14 million, its share of the 40 million dollar price tag for renovation. And the state must still approve any plans.

The school board also discussed a possible levy for the November ballot. The bond issue could fund Scott renovations and other buildings. The board also talked about a renewal of a 4.9 mill operating levy that expires next year.