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River View steering committee discusses feedback from town hall meetings

| November 16, 2016

WARSAW – River View’s steering committee has three goals. It wants to provide students in the district with safer buildings, more access to 21st century education and be more efficient.

They had hoped to accomplish their goals by closing all four current elementary schools and sending those students to a new school attached to the junior high, which would receive renovations along with the high school. Voters, however, turned down the bond issue during a special election in August that would have helped the district raise funds to do this along with money they would have received from the Ohio School Facilities Commission.

This fall the district again reached out to voters by inviting them to town hall community meetings at several of the schools so they could express their concerns and hear opinions and ideas from the public.

“The cost of the bond issue (to tax payers) was definitely an issue, but it wasn’t the main focus,” said Dalton Summers, superintendent of River View Local Schools. “We also heard concerns about location and transportation. I think it’s very clear to everyone though that the price tag of whatever we decide to do has to come down.”

River View is planning another round of town hall meetings for this winter or spring.

“We’ve told everyone that right now we don’t have a plan B,” Summers said.

They are currently looking at different consultants that can come in and do an efficiency  evaluation that will hopefully give them some direction for coming up with their next proposal for how to address the district’s needs. Architects also are working with current enrollment numbers to come up with possible different classroom configurations for their current buildings.

“Our focus (as a committee) is still to provide safer, more efficient buildings that provide 21st century education for our children, but we have to do something that will protect our future and sustain what we have now,” Summers said. “At this point, I can’t go back to the board and recommend we go on the spring ballot for anything. We aren’t abandoning the idea of new construction though because at the end of the day we still have four buildings that are a century old or pretty close to it. The district can’t sink large amounts of money into buildings of that age that have outdated infrastructure.”

Category: Education

About the Author ()

I started my journalism career in 2002 with a daily newspaper chain. After various stops with them, I am happy to be back home! I graduated from Coshocton High School in 1998 and received a Bachelor of Arts in Communication in 2002 from Walsh University. I also earned several awards while working for daily papers, including being honored by Coshocton County’s veterans for the stories I wrote about them. I am honored and ready to once again shine a positive light on Coshocton County. I also am the proud mother of a little girl named Sophia!

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