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BOE outlines options for bond issue

Marietta City Schools Board of Education held a special meeting Tuesday to outline options available to the school district, if the proposed bond issue on the November ballot passes.

The bond issue is certified for 5.25 mills with 0.5 mills to be set aside each year for maintenance and repairs with the remaining 4.75 mills to pay down the construction loan of $55,670,000 over 37 years.

If the 5.25 mills bond issue passes in November, property owners of a $100,000 home would see approximately $184 a year added to their tax bill.

The 0.5 mills is projected to bring in approximately $274,000 annually.

The 4.75 mills is projected to bring in approximately $2.6 million annually.

In past discussions, district Treasurer Frank Antill has explained that while the loan amount for the proposed construction of a singular academic campus for the city school district remains the same for the proposed levy as the failed attempt last year, the millage is lower than what appeared on the November 2019 ballot.

“The millage is a little bit less because our property values went up,” he said. “Our millage last year was 5.36 mills and now it’s 5.25.”

On Tuesday, the board reviewed additional options open to the city, if first voters approve the ballot issue, and then the Ohio Facilities Construction Commission approves an alternate.

At present, the city school district has priority funding to begin this project only through the end of 2020, as reiterated by Board President Doug Mallett on Tuesday, with the approved plan of a singular campus serving students from pre-K through twelfth grade.

The state commission has approved that proposed plan for a build-out of a new academic facility with the state committed to covering $29,418,403 of the total project cost.

Antill explained that the bond levy on the ballot provides for $55,670,000 in local funding to not only cover the required local match for what is covered under the state-approved project, but also for additional project enhancement and to cover market conditions throughout the building stage.

But alternate options may exist, after the approval of the bond levy, though with differences outlined in cost Tuesday.

The Times will be working with Antill to further summarize those costs through additional editions, but the following options were laid out:

¯ Separately build a new pre-K through fifth-grade elementary school and a new secondary school to house grades 6-12.

¯ Separately build a new pre-K through sixth-grade elementary school and a new secondary school to house grades 7-12.

¯ Renovate Marietta Middle School to house pre-K through fifth-grade and build a new secondary school to house grades 6-12.

¯ Renovate Marietta Middle School to house pre-K through sixth-grade and build a new secondary school to house grades 7-12.

¯ Renovate Marietta High School to house pre-K through sixth-grade and build a new secondary school to house grades 7-12.

¯ Renovate Marietta High School to house pre-K through fifth-grade and build a new secondary school to house grades 6-12.

Board Member Stacy Hall said during the meeting’s discussion that she was thankful to have the discourse to better find “what the community can rally around,” acknowledging that the bond issue failed by almost 2:1 in votes in 2019.

The board next meets Monday for its regular business meeting.

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