Harrison Elementary School was originally Harrison High School when it first opened.
(Harrison, Oh.) - Southwest Local School District residents could be asked to approve a school bond issue sometime in the next few years.
Superintendent Chris Brown tells Eagle 99.3 that the school district in the very preliminary stages – he stressed the word preliminary – of looking at a possible bond issue for building replacement or renovations. Some of the district’s buildings are more than 50 years old.
The clock may be ticking for the district to make the most of construction funds that will eventually be offered from the Ohio School Facilities Commission.
“The process in Ohio is that all districts are placed on a list according to a formula that takes into account a number of factors including the wealth of the district. It is estimated that in the next year or two our ‘number’ will come up. At this time, our number would represent the state paying 24 percent of any project we would undertake,” Brown explained.
The OSFC is in the process of assessing all of Southwest Local’s buildings. The commission will later recommend a master plan based on the costs required to renovate or replace buildings.
After that, the district could hire a marketing firm to survey the community to see if there is any support for a bond issue on the ballot.
“Remember in Ohio, it is the voters who decide if buildings are built or any money is raised for buildings or operational funds,” Brown said.
Passing a school bond issue or levy in Ohio is not easy. According to the Ohio School Boards Association, from 2007 through 2011 only 56 percent of new issues put before voters had passed. The number is even lower for levies: 32 percent.