Xenia schools hope third time is charm for construction issue

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Xenia schools hope third time is charm for construction issue

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Xenia’s bond issue calls for replacing the 1962 Warner Middle School (above) and 1976 Xenia High School with a single building to be constructed at Ohio 42 and Ledbetter Road. JEREMY P. KELLEY / STAFF

Xenia Schools will be back on the ballot Aug. 8, asking voters a third time for the local share of money to construct a new combination middle school/high school building.

The bond issue on the ballot will be the same 4.2-mill, 37-year measure that voters rejected by a 7 percentage point margin in May. It would cost the owner of a $100,000 home $147 per year.

Xenia Superintendent Denny Morrison said the school board got significant public feedback after the May vote not to be discouraged and to try again.

“We’re going to try to do a door-to-door campaign, and explain what this plan means, not just for Xenia schools, but for the entire community,” said Morrison, who retires July 31, eight days before the vote. “We have so many good things happening that we want to continue the momentum.”

The proposal calls for replacing the 1962 Warner Middle School and 1976 Xenia High School with a single building to be constructed at Ohio 42 and Ledbetter Road. The state-required evaluation of the two existing buildings called them both “borderline,” the middle rating out of three.

The Ohio Facilities Construction Commission would pay for 40 percent of the project if Xenia voters agree to raise the rest via this bond issue. The current OFCC funding cycle expires after the August election. OFCC officials said Xenia could still qualify for state funding after that time if they passed a levy, but the funding percentage could shift.

“The $28.5 million that the state is offering now is contingent on the passage of the bond issue to fund our local share,” Morrison said.

Camden on the ballot

The only other levies expected on the Aug. 8 ballot are a pair of renewal levies in the Preble County village of Camden.

Preble County Board of Elections Director Terri Hans said Camden officials filed a 6-mill renewal police levy and a 4-mill renewal levy for general operating expenses. Hans said the Board of Elections is scheduled to certify those levies to the ballot next week.

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