December 13, 2016 — The Board of Education voted tonight on the first step toward placing a bond issue on the May 2017 ballot for District voters. This step was preliminary to the Board’s determination regarding two alternative facility plans.
The District urgently needs capital funds to repair and maintain our eight legacy school buildings. Careful study has led to a list of priorities such as improving IT infrastructure, replacing older heating equipment, and other specific items (click here for the Dec. 13 presentation). The Board is also awaiting a cost-benefit analysis of (A) replacing the Middle School now with a more energy-efficient building that costs substantially less to operate, versus (B) maintaining the existing building a few more years while developing voter support for a redesigned and updated Middle School at a future date.
Meanwhile, the District has received certification of conditional approval for a facilities plan filed with the Ohio Facilities Construction Commission. The Commission has set aside $6.3 million for use by the District towards construction of a new Middle School (at an estimated local cost of $19.9 million) if voters approve that project on a ballot measure by September 2017. If the Board defers replacing the Middle School some state funds may be available at a future date, but the amount is uncertain.
Tonight’s resolution authorizes the Board president and District treasurer to file appropriate documents with the Department of Taxation and Superintendent of Instruction for formal consent to place an issue on the May 2 ballot. The Board will make its determination on the Middle School alternatives and take additional formal action at its meetings on January 10 and 17.