More on School Finance

I know school finance is difficult to understand and can cause concern since so much of it comes right out of the taxpayer’s pockets. I am going to try to explain some details and where we stand now. I’ve only been here 3 years so most of this dates back prior to me being here. I am relying on information provided to me from staff, parents, and community members for the history so bear with me.

Whitaker Elementary

Whitaker was built in 1935 and had additions/renovations/upgrades in 1949, 1957 & 1998.

  • 7400 Winton Road
  • Currently has grades 2-5
  • About 400 students
  • Sits on 5.15 acres

Secondary campus

Secondary Campus was built in 1958 had additions/renovations/upgrades in 1961, 1964, 1968, 1973, 1977 & 1998.

  • 8916 Fontainebleau Terrace
  • Currently has grades 6-12
  • About 750 students
  • Sits on 31.07 acres


Brent Elementary school

Brent was built 1964 had additions/renovations/upgrades in 1998.

  • 8791 Brent Drive
  • Currently has grades K-1
  • About 200 students
  • Sits on 12.6 acres

Recent history:

1997 –A 3.96 Bond issue passed and you can see above there were additions/renovations/upgrades at all 3 buildings

2010 – Last operating levy – normal cycle for schools is new money every 3-5 years to keep up with costs. The administration promised 2010 that the district would not ask for more money for 5 years. It has been 9. The 5 year forecast will be out soon and we plan not to ask for more operating money within that time frame as long as new buildings are in place. If this happens, we will have made this operating money last over 14 years.

Also in 2010 – The district was able to lower the interest rate on the 1997 bonds for the remaining life of the bonds saving the taxpayers over 1.1 million dollars.

2012 – A 1.9 mil bond issue was passed. It was used to repair parking lots, many roofs, and some HVAC. This did not add AC and did not cover the expense of all roofs. At that point the plan was put forward that this money would help the district maintain the current buildings for another 10 years. That 10 years will end in 2022. It takes 3 years to build a building. It is 3 years until 2022.

2012-2019 – Work was done as promised in the last bond issue. This has allowed the district to keep the buildings going this much longer.

Nov 5, 2019 – There are two issues on the ballot. A bond issue for 7.19 mils to build new buildings and a 0.5 mil levy for maintenance cost to upkeep them.

The 0.5 mil levy is required when a new facility is built so there is money to maintain them as warranties expire.

This will increase taxes about $22.44 per month per $100,000 of market valuation

This will be to build 2 new buildings beginning in 2020.

Phase I

A K-6 at the Brent property on Winton, with main access off of Winton.

Then build a 7-12 building on the Secondary Campus/High School property.

Continue to hold school in the current buildings during construction so will not have to pay to rent facilities to house students during that the years of construction.

That alone will save millions of dollars.

The Ohio Facilities Construction Commission (OFCC) will partner with us to build these buildings, supplying a 60% match on the base cost.

The community has to approve the money it will contribute, the district will build the elementary school and install turf on the football field (cutting the cost of mowing and lining the fields and they will be available much more).

Students will move into the new building

Phase II

The OFCC will provide the 60% matching funds to be used to build the 7-12 building.

Once that building is finished, students will move into the new facility.

The old buildings will be torn down and a new softball field will be constructed (the new elementary will be built on the old field.)

Parking will also be constructed.

The Performing Arts Building will remain.

The bus lot and building will remain.

The multipurpose gym will remain to have an extra gym.

                The cafeteria portion may be removed.

The Board will determine what to do with the Whitaker and Cottonwood properties.

2024 – The two bond issues from 1997 and 2012 will be done and the 5.5 millage for those will drop off. Taxes will go down about $16 per month per $100,000 of market valuation.

                Net increase is 7.69 mils – 5.5 mils = 2.19 mils.

To Recap, the district has NOT asked for additional operating dollars since 2010 and does not plan to for at least 5 years if new buildings are in place.

If no new buildings, costs to maintain the current buildings will continue to climb and be paid for with the operating budget.

This will quickly eat up these funds and the district would have to ask for more operating money, a levy, to keep up with the rising costs.  

1997 and 2012 bonds were spent to help keep the buildings going until time to build new.

                These bonds, 5.5 mils, will drop off in 2024.

There are two issues on the ballot November 5, 2019.

                A bond issue for 7.19 mils to build 2 new schools.

                A 0.5 levy for continued maintenance of the new facilities

                                This is required by OFCC when constructing new buildings.

                The combined 7.69 mils will increase taxes by 22.44 per $100,000 of market value of your home.

                After the 5.5 mils drops off in 2024, the net increase is 2.19 mils.

More tomorrow.