Thursday, December 13, 2018 Elyria 32°

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Firelands soliciting opinions on school construction plans


SOUTH AMHERST — The Firelands Schools Board of Education decided to gather more community feedback on a public survey before moving forward Monday evening.

The school board held a special meeting to discuss the results of a public survey of people in the community about its plan to move out of the South Amherst building on 152 W. Main St. Superintendent Mike Von Gunten said the board wanted more time to think things over.

“We really want to make sure we put as much homework in the beginning of the process as possible, knowing that we need to consider all opinions,” he said. “Once it’s set there’s no turning back from that, so the feedback up front is very critical.”

The district is attempting to devise a plan to move out of the building and give it back to the community. However, whatever may happen involves the community, and the district wanted to gauge community support.

The school sent the survey to 300 residents in the district who were registered to vote in late January. The survey asked questions to gauge their perceptions around what they would or wouldn’t support in improving the school’s facilities.

Gunten said the survey shows a large split between residents wanting to improve the district and being able to financially support it.

“People continue to struggle in our area, they are underemployed or unemployed, so they don’t have a lot of extra money at this point in time,” he said. “So in the district we’re trying to find a solution to our facility needs while still being respectful to our taxpayers and understand where they’re coming from,” he said.

Though the board won’t try another survey, Gunten said they will be looking into other ways to hear from the community before finalizing their plan.

Contact Bruce Walton at 329-7123 or Follow him on Twitter @BruceWalton.

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