Akron City Council signed off on the construction of a new high school in the Ellet neighborhood earlier this month.
But now, some council members want to rescind their vote, saying they haven’t gotten questions answered about the school district’s citywide building plans.
“All we want to do is have time to look at this and make sure we’re doing the best we can with the resources,” Councilman Russ Neal Jr. said Thursday.
Neal, along with council members Donnie Kammer and Tara Mosely-Samples, called for a special meeting at 2 p.m. Friday at City Hall to reconsider the vote.
Neal said he’s not against building a new high school in Ellet.
Kammer previously has said there hasn’t been enough communication between the school board and council members about the ongoing school construction plan.
Neal, Kammer and others have raised questions about spending at individual schools and the size of the schools being built.
The new Ellet Community Learning Center is expected to cost $61.9 million, the district said Thursday. The Firestone school project, which includes Litchfield middle school and is nearly complete, is expected to cost $83 million. The Buchtel Community Learning Center cost $44.9 million.
“All we want is the proper information,” Neal said.
The Ellet project is part of the overall $800 million school construction program that was funded in part by voters who approved a 0.25 percent increase to the city income tax in 2003. The plan originally targeted 58 district-owned buildings. Officials have said they now expect between 41 and 45 projects to be completed.
With fewer new and renovated schools planned, some council members are concerned about which ones will be funded, saying those decisions affect neighborhoods and plans to grow the city population.
Councilman Bob Hoch, who represents the Ellet neighborhood, was unhappy Thursday to hear about the special meeting. He chastised some of his colleagues for not asking questions sooner and said if they want answers, they should contact the school district directly instead of asking questions aloud at council meetings.
Council members plan to meet June 20 with the Joint Board of Review, a collection of city and school officials, to talk about the building project.
Rick Armon can be reached at 330-996-3569 or email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter at @armonrickABJ.