Its elementary school was ranked as the 7th worst in the state by the Ohio Schools Facilities Commission, and voters in the Springfield Local School District want to change that.
A 2.5-mill bond issue to build a new elementary school sailed to victory in Tuesday’s primary, garnering 69 percent ‘yes’ votes compared to 31 percent ‘no’ votes, according to complete but unofficial results from the Mahoning County Board of Elections.
Karen Datillo of the Levy Committee said the community took a big step towards the future of the school district.
“I think it means a really bright future for our community,” said Datillo. “It means a safe and secure learning environment for our kids, additional technology and more space. It’s gonna be room to grow for all of us.”
The school, located in New Middletown, is 90 years old and has numerous issues, including water damage, electrical, and heat and ventilation issues, as well as cramped classrooms that cannot support the latest technology and a poor layout that makes students vulnerable to guests because the office is located beyond two kindergarten classrooms.
The school board and the community will get to work right away obtaining plans for the new school.
“There is no existing blueprint for this building,” said School Board President Len Fagnano. “We will be meeting with the community, the committee, the administrators, school staff, everybody will have a say in what the school is gonna be.”
Voters rejected a similar levy in November, but this time the OSFC is going to pay 48 percent of a $12.3 million project, with taxpayers being asked to foot the remaining 52 percent. Residents will pay an extra $76.56 annually on a $100,000 home.
The Columbiana Exempted Village School District was not as lucky as Springfield, as voters rejected a request for a 1.23-mill bond issue for improvements at South Side Middle School. The issue was defeated by a sound margin of 58 percent to 42 percent, according to complete but unofficial results from the Mahoning and Columbiana Boards of Elections.
The bond issue would have cost taxpayers an additional $37 per year on a $100,000 home and would have generated $4 million in revenue. The district tried unsuccessfully to pass a bond issue during a special election in August as well.
The United Local School District also will not be receiving more money for improvements after voters rejected a 3-mill continuous permanent levy by a vote of 59 percent to 41 percent, according to complete but unofficial results from the Columbiana County Board of Elections. The issue was defeated by 200 votes.
The funds generated by the levy would have been used for repairs, renovations and maintenance of the K-12 campus and would have generated approximately $375,000 per year.
The district currently has a five-year permanent improvement levy first passed in 1984 that expires in November. If the new levy had passed, the board likely would have let the old one expire.
Renewal levies fared better on Tuesday’s ballot.
A 5.9-mill renewal levy for operating expenses in Boardman passed by a vote of 60 percent to 40 percent, according to complete but unofficial results from the Mahoning County Board of Elections. Boardman voters also passed a 1.6-mill replacement levy to improve security in the school district, but a four-vote margin of victory likely will trigger an automatic recount. The measure passed 1,556 votes to 1,552 votes.
The replacement levy will generate $480,000 annually if its win stands.
The Jackson-Milton School District saw two renewal levies pass. A 0.9-mill levy passed by a vote of 57 percent to 43 percent, according to complete but unofficial results from the Mahoning County Board of Elections. Voters also approved a 4.9-mill levy for Jackson-Milton Schools by an identical margin.
In Poland, voters easily renewed a 6.2-mill, five-year operating levy that will generate approximately $2.3 million annually. It will cost the owner of a $100,000 home $189 per year. The measure passed by a margin of 65 percent to 35 percent, according to complete but unofficial results from the Mahoning County Board of Elections.
In Salem, voters convincingly passed a 2-mill permanent improvement renewal levy by a vote of 74 percent to 26 percent, according to complete but unofficial results from the Columbiana County Board of Elections.