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Clintonville finalizing school survey

District debating what to do with elementary school complex
By: 

Grace Kirchner, Leader Correspondent

The Clintonville Board of Education and elementary school task force met Thursday to review a proposed survey about the future of the Rexford-Longfellow Elementary School complex.

The district has hired School Perception LLC to prepare a survey that will be sent to school district taxpayers and will be available online. The board plans to review the results Oct. 24.

The task force includes about 30 parents, community leaders and others who have been meeting to study the district’s elementary school needs and the future of the Rexford-Longfellow complex, which is connected to the building constructed in 1918 as a high school.

Rexford school was built in 1956. The two-story Longfellow addition was build in 1964. A cafeteria and classrooms were added in 1992, and office space was added in 1996.

In the survey, taxpayers will be asked if they want to maintain the 1918 structure, maintain and update Rexford-Longfellow, replace the complex at the existing site, or do nothing.

They can also indicate what they would be willing to pay. The survey will include two options costing from $19 million to just under $25 million.

Bill Foster, of School Perception, said he expected that 70 percent of those taking the survey will complete it online. He speculated that only about 20 percent of the recipients will take the survey.

District officials say the 1918 section of the complex needs tuck pointing, the windows and doors need to be repaired or replaced, a portion of the roof needs to be replaced, the heating system is aging and parts of the building do not meet Americans with Disabilities Act standards.

The building is structurally sound, although Steve Reinke, district buildings and grounds manager, said it is not as sound as some think.

Task force member Mary Kautz said people have told her they do not want to lose the auditorium in the old building.

Superintendent Tom O’Toole said the building also has storage space.

The task force voted to support moving the 4K program at the Dellwood Early Learning Center to Rexford-Longfellow. It would be one less building for the district to maintain and would be an easier transition to elementary school for the students, according to task force members.

The survey also will be sent to school staff, even if they do not live in the district, but their responses will not be included in the financial questions.