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Grad leads hygiene group — Page 9 Downtown parking in works — Pj Amherst News-Time O ■£• X X C '." o o 3 X Oj < X " 3 -I 3> o < <-. Wednesday, February 5, 1997 Amherst, Ohio BOE will ask voters to approve $16 mill i .Ol I CAW New classrooms, labs, cafet needed to help aid overcrowding by GLEN MILLER Architect Dan Weaver explains proposed herst schools needed to ease overcrowding in plans for additions and renovations to the Am- the Amherst schools. News-Times reporter The elimination of overcrowding in the Amherst schools depends on whether school district voters will approve a $16.7 million bond issue for additions and renovations on the May 6 ballot A recommendation to build 31 classrooms, 10 science labs, five multipurpose/cafeteria rooms, one library and one computer lab was unanimously approved by the school board Jan. 27. The plan is based on the recommendation of a future planning task force and presentation by Dan Weaver, an architect with Clark & Post Architects, Inc. in Lorain. Based on treasurer Al Elhindy's estimates, the bond issue will be 3.*>54 mills paid over the next 25 years. The exact amount will be set by the Lorain County auditor's office. The decision followed months of planning and architectural reviews of Marion L. Steele High School, Nord Junior High School, Shupe Middle School and Harris and Powers elementary schools. Pending voter approval, the construction probably would not begin until March 1998 and be completed in August 1999. Until, then superintendent Howard Dulmage said the school board will have to cope with overcrowding the best it can without cutting back on educational standards. "This we what we want to do and need to do to get us into the 21st century,'' Dulmage said. "At this point, I don't see many other choices. We are continuing to have children register here as houses are completed and people move in." Last year, he had said the addition of new students is expected to reach 4,000 by 1999 if new homes continue to be built in the school district. The district now has about 3,600 students. Amherst schools were originally built to house 350 to 400 students each. Because of the growing enrollment, Dulmage expects each school to have between 400 and 450 students in the next few years. In the past, he said a new teacher was added to reduce classroom size but the schools have had no classroom space for the teacher. Dulmage said the only other choice would be installation of additional modular classrooms as schools become more crowded, although he wants to avoid it if possible. The mobile home-like classrooms were placed at Nord, Shupe and Harris last year. Dulmage said the additions could be done piecemeal over several years but might prove more cosily because of rising construction costs. In addition, it would only eliminate overcrowding in the completed CONTINUED on page 2 Residents opposed to rezoning of Legion lot by BILL ROSS News-Times reporter Members of American Legion Post 118 have asked the city to change zoning of the post's building in order to facilitate sale of the building but residents in the area say they are opposed to the request. The issue came to light during a lively buildings and lands committee meeting on Jan. 21 when Legion representatives requested a zoning change from TZ (township zoning) to C-2, which is a wide-ranging commercial use zone. Members of Legion were on hand as well as a large turnout of residents who live on streets adjacent to the complex. The Legion said that it could no longer afford to make mortgage payments and must sell the property as commercial in order to stay afloat. LeRoy Kubuske, who has been a member of the post for 51 years and is a Legion adjutant, was first to speak to the issue, and began by describing a bit of the Legion's history: Club says it must sell to stay solvent by BILL ROSS News-Times reporter Losses incurred from repeated violations of the stale's liquor and gambling laws have tent American Legion Post 118 into a financial tailspin. Post members say they have no choice now but to sell the Legion facility at 46501 Middle Ridge Road and find more affordable accomodations. The violations include selling liquor to non-members, gambling and selling alcohol while under suspension, and have resulted in a series of fines and suspensions dating back to 1979. Social service and fraternal organizations often use gambling as a means to gain finan- cM resources. —-C—ibung in places wnete liquor is sold is prohibited by Ohio State Law (which includes raffles and tip tickets), bat since fraternal organizations rely on that income in order to continue tb sM the community, it becomes sort Of a cat-and-mouse game with the state. According to Patty Haskins, a spokesperson for the Ohio Department of Liquor Control, "Because we are somewhat limited in manpower, organizations like the American Legion are investigated only after we have received a compLunt." The complaints tend to come in from disgruntled residents who Bwe near vm sootil narwtcc organizations, but Legion members say they do not understand what they could have done to make someone take aim at them. LeRoy Kubuske, who has been a member of Post 118 for 51 years, believes that someone may be targeting the Legion specifically. "When you have had as many complaints as we have, that's the conclusion you come to," he said, adding that the Legion has always tried to be 8 good neighbor and to help out tbe cornmun- ity, but now is finable to donate as it has in the past. "We seed kids to Buckeye Boy's Sate, mate fii*jiiiiiinir> nations to the Red Cross donation, but sow we're not able to do so much — when the pot goes dry, you have to reconsider what to do with what's left," Even though the most recent suspension ended more than a year ago, Legion members say they still have not been able to get back on their feet. Reggie Cameron, the canteen CONTINUED on page 3 "As a child growing up in Amherst, there was Clifford's Greenhouse on that property. Later on, the property was..used by a mason contractor and the American Legion bought that property in 1952 — and it's been more or less commercial since I can remember." Kubuske went on to say that when the Legion built on the prop erty in 1954, it was part of Amherst Township and there were no building ordinances in effect at that time. In about 1970, according to Kubuske, the Legion wanted to add an addition and went before the zoning board for a permit: "Well, lo and behold, we found out that we were non-conforming in a residential area, which we didn't even know about...and we were paying commercial taxes on the property all this time — we just took for granted that we were a commercial establishment" When the township zoned the property, they mistakenly classified it as residential, and then had to come back later and designate it as non-conforming use, according to Kubuske, when it should have been designated as commercial all along. The township subsequently gave the Legion the permit for the addition, and after the area was annexed by the city of Amherst about 12 years ago, another addition was requested by the Legion. Members of post 118 were told by the committee that they should ask for a variance as soon as possible. Kubuske finished his remarks by saying there was an oversight at the time and the variance was never applied for, now that the Legion finds itself in a position necessary to sell, it wants to obtain the proper zoning. Councilperson Nancy Brown said CONTINUED on page 2 Inauguration was more fun than work for teen diplomat by BILL ROSS Kari Schmidt relaxes at home after her trip to Washington, DC, for the Presidential Youth Inaugural Conference. She brought back pictures, me morabilia and memories that wW stay with her the rest of her life. News-Times reporter As an alumni representative of the National Young Leaders Conference held last year in Washington, D.C., a young Amherst woman had the once-in-a- lifeiime opportunity to witness the inauguration of the president on Jan. 20. Kari Schmidt, 17, a senior at Marion L. Steele High School, was one of 380 outstanding alumni from across the country who were chosen to participate in The Presidential Youth Inaugural Conference, which is sponsored by the Congressional Youth Leadership Council, a nonprofit, nonpartisan educational organization. "Students were chosen from those who were participants in the National Young Leaders Conference and I was nominated because of my interest in leadership and history," Schmidt said, adding she still is not sure who provided the nomination, but she guesses it was one of her teachers at Steele. The NYLC is a six-day interactive leadership conference that is designed to teach students leadership skills and give them a greater understanding of how the political process works. Schmidt was thrilled to be able to make another trip to Washington, but she first had to raise $965 dollars to pay for the conference tuition. The money was supplied by area businesses, family and family friends. Although Schmidt is reluctant to name them all because "some of them are uncomfortable having their names in the paper," she reports that she is extremely grateful to all of them for their support of the projecL The conference lasted from Jan. 16-21. and the students were kept on a whirlwind schedule during their entire «tay. They were housed at the 4-H Center in Maryland, which Schmidt describes as "a cross between a college dorm sod a hotel room." "What was really great was that one of my roommates and I got really close and we ended up in a group of about seven friends who shared some great times together," Schmidt said. The students had an intense itinerary for each day, but Schmidt said that each day had something special to offer. On day one, they attended a keynote address by former Olympic gold medalist Jeff Rouse, a swimmer from both the '92 and the '96 Olympics. "He was a great speaker and taught us to turn failures into setbacks — meaning that if you fail at something, you can learn from hand use that to your benefit in the future," Schmidt said. One of the highlights of day two was a behind-the-scenes tour of the Armed Forces Inauguration Committee — a group representing all factions of the armed ibices involved in planning the inaugural parade and other events. Later that evening, Schmidt was chosen to publicly thank presidential press secretary Mike McCurry, for delivering a leadership speech to the members of Presidential Youth Inaugural Conference. The following day, the students were treated to a breakfast meeting with members of the National Press Club, including such journalists as Helen Thomas (UPI) and James Carney (Time Magazine). In the afternoon, the students took a walk along the mall, but because they had dressed for the CONTINUED on ■'
|Title||Amherst News-Times, 1997-02-05|
|Date of Original||05-FEB-1997|
|Submitting Institution||Ohio Historical Society|
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