POLAND, Ohio (WKBN) – The Poland School Board met Wednesday night after the levy on Tuesday was defeated with 74% voting no.
The board will not ask voters for another levy. Instead, it was decided — and nothing is final yet — to use the buildings they have and fix them up.
“We don’t want to crowd the ballot. We don’t want to risk the possibility of losing the operating money and permanent money that we need,” Superintendent Craig Hockenberry said. “The biggest challenge now is how do we put 21st-century learners in the buildings that were built in the 19th century.”
At the same time, there will be a major realignment of the Poland Schools. Pre-school and kindergarten will now be housed at Dobbins. Grades 1 and 2 will move into the now-closed Union Elementary School building. Grades 3, 4 and 5 will be housed at McKinley. Grades 6, 7 and 8 will be at the middle school. Grades 9 through 12 will be at the high school.
“It’s not going to be perfect, but we’re going to make sure that we never have to move a classroom again, never have to worry about overloading,” Hockenberry said.
The administration offices will move to North Elementary.
Hockenberry stressed that these are just ideas, just preliminary plans. He said there will be meetings in the future before any final decisions are made.
“There is a cost that comes with this, and I am hoping we can keep that cost as low as possible so we don’t have to come back to the taxpayers. And instead of asking to build new buildings, ask them for more money to keep fixing what we currently have,” Hockenberry said.
The moves would take effect next school year.
Hockenberry says Poland’s enrollment is rising, adding that the alignment being proposed should serve the Poland Schools well into the foreseeable future, without asking taxpayers for more money.