Fairborn schools moves bond issue for new schools toward November ballot

The Fairborn Board of Education is asking voters to approve a bond issue this November for new school construction.

The board passed a “resolution of bond issue and permanent levy” at their board meeting on July 9. This legislation is the first step in putting a combination levy on the ballot in November. The school district administration recommended the bond issue be placed before voters so the district can continue progress on buildings.

If the bond issue is approved, the school district would first build a new high school, said Superintendent Gene Lolli. Then a new middle school would be built, with middle school students using the current high school building during construction, The district surveyed families in the community to see which school building they would want built first.

The new high school would cost about $72 million to build, Lolli said. The school district estimates the millage for the bond issue would be 5.87. This would cost someone who owns a house valued at $120,000 an additional $17 per month or about an additional $200 a year.

“We maintain accountability to the citizens of Fairborn through sound fiscal management and full financial disclosure. We believe that the opportunity for new buildings, combined with curriculum and educational improvements will make Fairborn a great value and help to increase property values,” Fairborn City Schools Treasurer Kevin Philo said in a media release.

Last November the board of education approved a resolution for an option to buy property for the new high school east of Interstate 675. The new building would basically be a continuation of the new primary and intermediate schools, Lolli said.

If the bond passes in November, the school district would buy that land for $3.5 million. Bond votes are a one-time decision to pay off school construction costs over a 37-year period.

The 86-acre site sits between Commerce Center Boulevard and Interstate 675, south of Garland Avenue. The land is currently owned by Oberer Realty Services, Lolli said.

“Our buildings are in pretty bad shape. If this bond is passed, it would certainly take us into the 21st century,” Lolli said.

Lolli said that the Ohio Facilities Construction Commission’s Expedited Local Partnership Program (ELLP) allows Fairborn City Schools to continue to plan for the future and to have a plan in place for a new middle school.

The Ohio Facilities Construction Commission offers state funding toward school construction if the local community approves a bond levy to contribute its local share.

The ELPP permits school districts that are more than two years away from eligibility for state assistance under the Classroom Facilities Assistance Program (CFAP) to receive an assessment and master facility plan from the Ohio Facilities Construction Commission.

The commission will assess the classroom facility needs of participating school districts and, along with the school district, develop a district wide master facilities plan. The school district may then spend any local resources, including the proceeds of bonds, to complete part of the overall master facility plan that is either new construction or major renovation.

Fairborn’s participation in ELPP was approved at the Ohio Facilities Construction Commission meeting on June 25, said Ohio Facilities Construction Commission spokesman J.C. Benton.

Lolli said the ELLP will allow the district to work on the master plan and get a credit at a later date toward building a new middle school, those funds would be about $33 million.

“These new buildings would be very positive for the community,” Lolli said. “We hope we can carry on the momentum from the new primary and intermediate schools. I hope that when students leave those schools they can move on to a new middle school in a couple of years.”

The board will now need to pass another resolution at the July 23 Board of Education meeting. Then the issue will move on to the ballot.

About the Author