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City schools make list for state funding

It's official:

Ironton City Schools are on the list to get state funding for new or renovated schools - as long as local voters pick up part of the cost with a levy.

Superintendent Dean Nance said he received word this morning from the Ohio School Facilities Commission that Ironton is on the "list of 20" next projects that are guaranteed to be funded, and may place the levy on the ballot as soon as November 2005 - a year sooner than local school officials had anticipated.

"I don't know how much more excitement I can take," Nance said this morning. "We're going to the Final Four with the basketball team, and now this. I think this is par for the course with the year we're having. I am expecting great results with our OGT's (Ohio Graduation Test) and school proficiency. I think things are going well right now."

That sentiment was echoed by school board member Kathy Kratzenberg.

"It's definitely exciting," she said. "This just kicks us into high gear. We've got to really get busy. This was a lot sooner than we expected. The timing is a bit tough but really this could be, I think, a real keystone for economic development and I hope people will see it that way."

The school board began advertising last week for an architect to work with the district on the project. Nance said board members will begin narrowing down the field of interested parties the first of next month and should have an architect in place by mid-April.

OSFC representatives were in town earlier this year inspecting the district's buildings and will make recommendations in the near future on whether the buildings should be renovated or replaced.