Enrollment, building use are key issues for Lake County school districts 12/11/18



Photo of Dr Paolo

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Excerpt from article: "Although it is the smallest of Lake County's nine public school districts, Fairport Harbor's 2018-19 enrollment of 852 represents a 35 percent increase from its 2013-14 enrollment of 630.

Fairport Superintendent Domenic Paolo attributes much of the gain in his district's student population to an open enrollment policy in place since 2006.

He said while most open enrollment students are coming from Painesville, Painesville Township, Mentor and nearby communities, some are from communities in Geauga and Ashtabula counties.

The influx of students means the district's two aging schools, McKinley Elementary, and Fairport Harding Junior-Senior High, are operating at full capacity and beyond.

"People want the more-personalized learning experience for students we offer," Paolo said. "To keep doing that, we need to modernize facilities."

Paolo said the Fairport system in February submitted an application to the Ohio Facilities Construction Commission for state funding to build a new school that would house all of its students in one building.

The new school would be built on the site of the junior-senior high school. Paolo said the estimated cost of the project is $30 million.

Because of the economic profile of the village of 3,000, the state commission would provide 92 percent of the funding. The Fairport school board will place a 3-mill bond issue on the ballot to raise the remaining $2.4 million.

Paolo said the Ohio Facilities Construction Commission has $300 million in its coffers while there are 17 school districts in line for funding before Fairport Harbor.

The current scenario could have the new bond issue in front of Fairport Harbor voters in 2020."

By David S. Glasier dglasier@news-herald.com @nhglasier on Twitter Dec 11, 2018