DANVILLE -- Danville school director Steve Schooley wants another vote on the elementary school consolidation issue.

He asked business administrator Richard Snodgrass to "sharpen his pencil" and provide information on what it would cost district taxpayers for a $30 million consolidated school compared with $42 million to renovate and expand the Riverside, Danville and Mahoning-Cooper elementary buildings.

"Every month we delay is well over $100,000," Schooley said of the increasing costs at Tuesday night's board meeting.

"With the downturn and financial crisis, there will be lost jobs and lost revenues from a lot of taxing bodies including the state," Schooley said.

The school board has been discussing the consolidation issue for some time since the previous board voted to build a consolidated school near the high school.

Since then, people in the district also have proposed that the Danville Elementary School become a consolidated school, housing students from Riverside and Mahoning-Cooper.

By a 5-1 vote in August, the board authorized architects to proceed with the design of a $40 million project to renovate the three schools. Two board members were absent, and Schooley voted present, meaning a non-vote.

Snodgrass will present the updated figures to the board at its Dec. 3 reorganizational meeting at the Columbia-Montour Area Vocational-Technical School.

"I want to let the numbers do the talking and other ramifications. I just need the facts," Schooley said.

"With that type of decision, we need it to be in our district so our taxpayers can get here," said board member Dawn Koons-Gill. "If we want the public involved. I don't want to vote at the vo-tech. It needs to be here."

Schooley agreed, saying a special meeting could be held before the holidays in Danville.

"I want to get this to a head. I want the taxpayers to know the figures. I think people will be shocked at the difference," he said.

"We have been trying to get a forum to get people to express opinions," he said.

In July 2007, the board took out a $15 million bond issue for part of the project.

Because of the collapse of investment banks and banks supporting them, it has delayed purchasing $7 million to $10 million in municipal bonds as part of a package to finance the project.

n E-mail comments about this staff-written article to kblackledge@dailyitem.com.

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