By Sue Kiesewetter
MIDDLETOWN - Educators here want to know if residents prefer a school improvement plan that replaces six elementary schools or one that only builds three new schools and renovates three others.
The answer will determine what kind of bond issue a Facilities Committee recommends the Middletown Board of Education put on the ballot in the next nine months.
"The committee has worked hard to find a solution that will improve education and safety for Middletown kids while being reasonable for local taxpayers,'' said Superintendent Steve Price.
Both options call for tearing down Central Academy and Rooselvelt Elementary; improving and converting Verity Middle School to an elementary, and renovating Amanda Elementary School, said Edmund Pokora, school treasurer.
Central's multiage program would move to another building.
That cost is estimated at slightly more than $13 million, (including demolition.
The first option calls for building six new elementary schools to replace Creekview, Rosedale, Wildwood, Mayfield, Taft/McKinley and Wilson at a cost of $72.8 million.
The second option calls for building only three new schools.
Wildwood, Rosedale and Creekview would be improved and expanded.
The price tag would be $67.5 million.
It would take a 4.3 mill bond issue to fund the first option.
That equates to about $132 a year on a $100,000 house, Pokora said.
The second option could be funded through a 4-mill bond issue that would cost the owner of a $100,000 house about $120 per year, Pokora said.
Under either proposal the schools would be renovated or rebuilt on existing school sites and would be done in phases, with no more than two schools under construction or renovation at a time.
The first of three public hearings to get input on each option will begin at 7 p.m., today, in the auditorium at McKinley Elementary School. Meetings are also scheduled for 7 p.m., May 19, in the banquet room at Manchester School and at 7 p.m., May 22, in the cafeteria at Verity.
Options are still being studied for grades 7-12, which would be the second phase and require a separate bond issue.
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