The Akron Board of Education voted Monday to enter into an agreement with the Ohio Facilities Construction Commission to secure $34.5 million in state funding to construct one new high school in the city.

The proposed agreement is for what will be the final phase of a districtwide construction project, done in partnership with the city of Akron and the OFCC. The project is funded in part by a 0.25 percent increase to the city income tax that voters approved in 2003, with the state paying 59 percent toward construction and renovations of school district buildings.

“The commission requires that an agreement be in place between it and the district by Sept. 27, which is tomorrow,” Akron Superintendent David James said. “The agreement does not state where the school will be built, but that the state will partner on one high school and it includes the prospective budget.”

The total budget for the high school, which will house grades nine through 12 and career tech programs, and to abate and demolish Garfield High School and Kent Middle School is $58,529,159, according to the agreement. The state’s share of the co-funded budget is $34,532,262. The school district’s share is $23,996,897.

To secure the local share for the last segment of the project, Akron City Council will need to approve issuing up to $30 million in bonds.

The council decided on Monday to delay a vote for the second time on the bond issue, which is the final financial commitment from the city for the project. The vote could come as early as next week.

The city administration warned the council not to keep postponing the vote.

Finance Director Diane Miller-Dawson said the potential exists that the school district could get a smaller share of state funding for the building project if the council continues to delay the vote.

“That’s a big concern,” she said.

Because of declining enrollment, the state has scaled back its initial commitment to a plan that included 58 buildings. The current plan, with the pending new high school, includes 34 buildings.

And because the state’s enrollment projections show that the district has overbuilt its capacity for elementary and middle school students, it will only fund one more high school in the city. Another enrollment projection, which could show another decline, is expected next month.

Since 2003, the project has included the construction of 30 community learning centers, or schools, with two more under construction (Harris and Case) and one in design (Ellet).

The school board is now considering six options to determine where the new high school will be built. Option six, which would move Kenmore High School into a newly constructed Garfield High School in Firestone Park and move middle school students from Roswell Kent to Innes Community Learning Center, appears to be the favorite.

But there has been some discussion about whether there is a more central location, between the existing Kenmore and Garfield high schools, where the new high school can be constructed.

If the schools are consolidated, discussions about changes in name, school colors and mascots are expected.

The other five options being considered include closing both the Kenmore and North high school buildings. Other choices include consolidating Buchtel and Kenmore or consolidating Buchtel and Firestone or consolidating East and North. Two give the option of moving Kenmore into Innes, which now houses middle school students. And two include moving North into Jennings, which currently houses middle school students.

The school board could vote as early as its next meeting (Oct. 10) on the location for the new high school.

Prior to Monday’s vote by the school board, the Joint Board of Review (a collection of school board and city officials) recommended approval of the project agreement for the final phase, or segment 6, of the construction project.

Staff writer Rick Armon contributed to this story.

Colette Jenkins can be reached at 330-996-3731 or cjenkins@thebeaconjournal.com. She can be followed at www.twitter.com/ColetteMJenkins.