Little Miami Schools to seek 3.7-mill bond in November

After the district’s sixth straight year of triple-digit enrollment growth and months of community input regarding district facilities, the Little Miami Board of Education voted July 28 to seek voter approval of a bond issue this fall.

The Board voted 5-0 to place a 3.7-mill bond issue on the Nov. 7 ballot. The bond issue would raise $64.6 million and would cost the owner of a home valued at $200,000 an additional $21.58 per month, according to the distric.

The bond would pay for the construction of a new 800-seat primary school, additions to three other school buildings and minor renovations to Salem Twp. Elementary.

Little Miami has seen student enrollment grow by nearly 200 students per year since the 2012-2013 school year. This year, summer registration of new students has continued on the same trend and district officials estimate that opening day enrollment will be approximately 4,800 students. Little Miami has 4,950 available seats across six buildings.

“We have been tracking this enrollment trend for several years now knowing that we were very quickly running out of space,” said Superintendent Greg Power. “The passage of this bond issue will help us address growth and allow us to maintain quality learning environments for our students.”

In August 2016, the Little Miami Board of Education contracted with architect/engineering firm Emersion Design/Fanning-Howey to begin a five-year master planning process. The firm gathered public input through a community survey, focus groups and town hall meetings, looked at current housing starts and planned developments within the district’s 98 square miles, and assessed the condition of Little Miami’s current facilities.

Following this process, Emersion provided several two-phase scenarios that could handle future student growth. The Phase I scenario selected by the Board of Education, which would be funded by passage of the November bond, is:

• A new 800-student primary school to be built behind the existing Salem Twp. Elementary

• A 50,000 square foot addition made to Little Miami High School

• A 600-seat addition to Little Miami Junior High School

• A 250-seat addition to Little Miami Intermediate School

• Minor renovations to Salem Twp. Elementary to enable the building to be kept online

• Harlan-Butlerville and Hamilton-Maineville to be kept online for the foreseeable future

Board President Randy Haas said that after looking at all the data gathered during the master planning process, it was plain that the Board needed to act.

“Our board and our administrators have worked hard to engage our community, while also looking ahead to future growth and keeping an eye on the bottom line. We believe this plan does that,” he said. “We have come so far in our district and the board feels that this bond issue will help us maintain and build on the progress we have made.”

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