In 2009, Xenia voters approved a bond issue that paid for five new elementary schools. But in 2016-17, when the district asked voters for another bond to build a new middle school-high school complex, they were rejected three times.
Lofton previously told this newspaper that the 2020-21 requests are only to replace the nearly 60-year-old middle school because a two-year community input process identified that as the district’s biggest need.
“It is our hope that we can address any lingering concerns that voters may have about replacing Warner, while also making sure that families understand that the (permanent improvement) funds are what allow us to maintain and continue to improve all district facilities,” Lofton added. “It is our responsibility to create the best environment for students to grow and learn, and maintaining the pace of our facilities plan hinges on voters renewing those funds.
Xenia school district officials said the 1.3-mill permanent improvement levy has been funding capital improvement projects across the district for more than two decades. Previous projects funded by permanent improvement dollars include the restoration of Benner Field House and the complete renovation of the Bob Hope Auditorium at Xenia High School, scheduled to open this February.
The permanent improvement levy generates about $450,000 annually and was last approved by voters in 2016. As a renewal of an existing tax, it would not raise tax rates if passed.