Rossford residents debate renovating schools by new casino

By Jonathan Walsh - bio | email

Posted by Dave Dykema - email

ROSSFORD, OH (WTOL) - Dozens of concerned parents and citizens in Rossford gathered Thursday night to hear more about the future of their schools and how the upcoming casino will affect them.

The Hollywood Casino will be built by Penn-National within a mile of the high school. Some renovations were planned for the school buildings. That had some wondering whether or not it's a gamble to continue with the current plans.

Rossford resident Nicole Roe has gone to Detroit to gamble. "It's fun with my husband, but there are questionable characters around there, which is fine for somebody who's an adult but not for kids."

Other parents wagered a similar opinion.

"Especially having it right down the street from the high school. That's definitely a concern," Jennifer Harmon said.

Others feel putting a casino so close to schools is not a huge roll of the dice.

"Some of the fear I'm hearing is like Chicken Little...the sky is falling," Al Espen said. "It's an excellent opportunity for the area."

Superintendent of Schools Dr. Susan Lang addressed a question from the audience about where the money will be coming from for the school facilities.

She says questions remain about how much money to set aside, how much taxpayers will chip in, and the casino issue has come up recently.

She says safety is the number one issue, but that school reps have sat down with Penn-National asking, "How can you help Rossford schools? We're right next door to you. Will you be a good neighbor? And they say they have been and will be."

Nicole Roe disagrees. "I think they're saying that but now they'll have to put their money where their mouth is."

A duplicate meeting going over the same information is scheduled for February 23.