West Carrrollton High School is among the school buildings the district is targeting for replacement with the help of funding from the Ohio Facilities Construction Commission. FILE

West Carrollton board earmarking funds for upkeep if bond issue passes

The board of education is expected to vote Wednesday night on earmarking 25 percent of the 2-mill levy as part of a plan to build new schools, a project the district has been studying for more than two years, said West Carrollton Business Manager Jack Haag.

West Carrollton has verbally accepted into the Ohio Facilities Construction Commission building program. The state funding will significantly cut the local costs of a plan to replace its current seven buildings, district officials have said.

All of the buildings in the district – which includes parts of Miami Twp. and Moraine - are at least 50 years old and a plan to replace them with four new buildings on three sites has been projected to cost anywhere from $125 million to $140 million.

RELATED: West Carrollton to close elementary school after academic year

Setting aside 0.5 mills from the permanent improvement fund – which the district has had since the mid-1990s – would account for about $190,000 a year for annual maintenance, Haag said.

The move is designed “to show how you’re going to provide that maintenance and set aside a separate account so those monies can only be used for maintenance and upkeep of the brand new school buildings,” he said.

The West Carrollton board is also set to approve a masterplan for the OFCC Expedited Local Partnership Program. The board’s votes on the school building project are pre-requisites for the OFCC’s board to formally accept West Carrollton, thereby locking in a 81 percent state match on all building projects for new schools that are co-funded, Haag said.

The state board’s vote – expected in upcoming weeks - would also pave the way for district to put a bond issue on the November ballot, he said.

RELATED: West Carrollton voters approve first levy in 9 years

The district is projecting to have a 5.7-mill bond issue on the November ballot, according to its website, although the school board has yet to vote on a specific millage. That is expected this month or next, district officials said.

The bond issue is expected to cost the owner of a $100,000 home about $199 more a year or about $149 for those eligible for the Homestead Exemption, according to the school district.

The new building proposal calls for a pre-kindergarten to first grade building and another housing students in grades two through four on the current sites of Early Childhood Center and West Carrollton Middle School.

A third building – to include fifth- and sixth-graders – would be constructed the current site of Holliday Elementary. The last site – which Schnell Elementary and West Carrollton High School – would include a campus housing seventh-graders through seniors, according to the district.

Earlier this year, the board of education voted to permanently close Nicholas Elementary after it completes classes this week.

RELATED: West Carrollton school plan may cost $140M, include consolidation

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