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Committee set for Ironton school plan

If there is a driver's seat in the move to improve Ironton City Schools, there are now 28 people sitting together in that seat.

The list of people on the

newly-created Ironton City Schools Facilities Steering Committee was announced at the Board of Education meeting Friday afternoon.

This committee will spearhead the effort to determine whether to build new schools, remodel existing ones or combine those two ideas in some fashion.

These 28 people will eventually decide which of three proposals now on the table will be sent to the Ohio Schools Facilities Commission and the voters for approval.

"This group could come up with a fourth plan, if the OSFC would accept it," Superintendent Dean Nance said in announcing the committee. "Hopefully, we’ll have a plan in place by the end of May."

The list of people includes parents, business people, school faculty and staff and other residents in the community. Many of them have first-hand knowledge of what shape the city’s school facilities are in - they are former students - and a lot of questions about how to make improvements.

"It's been a long time in coming," committee member Bobby Williams said. He should know: He graduated from Ironton High School in 1978. "The schools are needing some change. I think they need new schools. Rebuilding would probably cost more than starting from scratch but where’s the property to build?" Williams described the high school in particular as "too old. It's terrible. The heating, the sewer, everything is just ancient in there."

For Katrina Keith, inclusion on the facilities steering committee is an opportunity to help shape her children's’ future. She has three kids attending the city district.

"This is something important. Our children are our future. Whatever it takes to provide them the best education possible, it will be worth the effort," Keith said.

Other committee members are: Jay Zornes, Lauren Schweickart, Jami Boykin, Kevin Cooper, Mike Carey, Dale Clark, Bobby Crockrel, Joe Fletcher, Linda Gagai, Jeff Handley, Ralph Huff Sr.,

Rick Jansen, Dave Lawless, Mary Linn, Nick Medinger, Steve Milleson, Rich Mountain, Dave Payne, Paula Rawlins, Patty Rice, Maria Oakes, Joe Unger, Louis Fogelsong, Mary Waddle, Carl White, Alissa Wilkes, Bobby Williams and

Mike Zornes.

The committee will met for the first time April 27. Two follow-up meeting are scheduled for May 5 and May 19. A community forum will be May 28.