Kings schools running out of space, seeks $90 million for upgrades

Voters in the Kings Schools system will see a $90 million bond issue on the November ballot after the Warren County district’s school board this week approved requesting the proposed tax hike.

The 4.96-mill bond issue, which would primarily go to building a new junior high in the Deerfield Twp. school district, is needed due to overcrowding and projected rising enrollment rates for the coming years, district officials said.

The proposed tax hike would also fund work at other Kings schools, including more classrooms and expanding and renovating existing facilities.

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“Due to growing enrollment, we feel it is vital for the long-term health of the district to provide the space needed for our students and to meet the needs of the community,” said Tim Ackermann, superintendent of Kings.

The bond issue option was studied for two years with input from residents, local businesses and other community groups.

The current junior high school is connected to Kings High School on Columbia Road, and under the proposed construction plan, a new and bigger junior high building would be located on the same high school and junior high combined campus.

The new junior high, however, would be about 200 yards farther south on the campus in acreage now used for baseball and softball fields.

The current junior high would be demolished to allow expansion and renovation of the high school, including a new gym and cafeteria.

The new junior high would be a three-story building housing grades 6 through 8.

If approved by voters on Nov. 5, the new school is projected to open in time for the start of the 2023-24 school year.

The 4.96-mill bond issue would cost the owner of a $100,000 home an additional $180 annually.

Kings officials said in the last half decade, the district has seen an increase of nearly 500 students. And during the next eight years, enrollment in the Kings district is projected to surpass 5,000 students, which would be almost double the enrollment in 1991.

Kings is consistently one of the top-academic performing schools in Southwest Ohio and among the state. The school system, which includes communities in Kings Mills, Landon, South Lebanon as well as Deerfield Township in Warren County, has also been lauded in some national studies as having a high school in the top 100 across the nation.

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Kings Board of Education President Peggy Phillips said, “the bond issue will help the district manage growth in our student enrollment while continuing the academic focus of preparing students for their future.”

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