A couple of river rivals are tackling school facility situations in different ways as they look to the future. Defiance city voters approved a 16-million dollar bond issue on Tuesday, that will allow for construction of a new middle-school high-school building, with the help of 79% of the project being paid with state facilities fund dollars. This passage will allow Defiance to tear down their old middle school facility downtown; but they have elected to keep the historic 1918 portion of the building, and their community auditorium, built in 1928. According to Defiance superintendent Mike Struble, they are able to save these historic buildings through revenues from the sale of their 4 closed elementary facilities, which took place several years ago. The Defiance community auditorium will see the installation of air conditioning and new restrooms with that money.
Napoleon Area Schools are moving their junior high to the high school site with a building addition. But the board has chosen to leave their community auditorium behind. Napoleon superintendent Steve Fogo reports the renovation price tag of 2.1 to 3-million dollars for the auditorium was too steep to tackle. And with the Central building set-up as a one-boiler complex, a total H-VAC reconstruction would be needed. Dr. Fogo reports the three elementary buildings being vacated, are appraised at less than a half-million dollars; which would still leave a big chunk of money to pay for any renovation. The city of Defiance has a school foundation that has been putting money into their auditorium, along with the local theater group, and the school itself.