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Forum set to focus on city schools

The public will have its chance to ask questions and get answers about the future of the Ironton schools.

Ironton City Schools' community forum on the proposed school building project and bond levy will be 7 p.m. Tuesday at Ohio University Southern's Bowman Auditorium.

Ironton School Superintendent Dean Nance said he is hoping for a large turnout.

"We encourage everyone to come and bring 10 people with them," Nance said. "The entire community needs to attend. … We feel like we need to bring everyone together and make sure everyone is on the same page, and that everyone understands what is going on and how we have come about the decisions we've made."

In addition to school officials, Nance said representatives from the Ohio School Facilities Commission, the architectural teams and the underwriters, a financial management firm, are also expected to take part in the forum.

School officials are asking voters to approve a bond issue to build a new elementary school, a new middle school and a new high school at a cost of $41.7 million excluding any locally funded initiatives (LFIs). The state will pay for 73 percent of the project. The rest of the cost, $11.2 million plus any LFIs, will be paid by area property owners.

The proposal to build all new schools was one of three options considered by the facilities steering committee earlier this year. One of the other options was to remodel the high school and build new facilities for the lower grades.

This option has gotten support from a local group that plans to lobby local residents to save the old building from the wrecking ball.