Northwood levy would help build new school

NORTHWOOD – Administrators hope taxpayers will see the need for a new school for students.
On Tuesday, the school district will be asking voters for the second time to support a bond issue for a
new PK-12 school.
The same issue failed in November by just two votes.
Tuesday’s vote is the last chance the district has to gain support for the new school and receive state
money to help fund the building.
A combined 0.25-percent earned income tax and a 4.9-mill property tax will appear again on Tuesday’s
ballot.
The earned income tax does not tax pensions or Social Security.
The taxes would will pay for a new 130,000-square-foot school with a scheduled opening in Fall 2017.
"I think that our community has a very important decision about its future in its hands," said
Superintendent Greg Clark.
The Ohio Schools Facilities Commission is prepared to spend $11.55 million (35 percent) for the new
$33.02 million school, with Northwood paying the $21.46 million balance (65 percent).
"It is the last chance for us to lock down this deal with the state," said Clark.
Paying for this project out of only local money would be equivalent to 15 mills, he added.
"We are not likely to ever be able to address our facility needs for less of an investment by those
of us who are taxpayers," Clark wrote on the district’s website. "Now is when interest rates
on the money we need to borrow to pay for the project are at near historic lows. Now is when
construction costs are still low due to the recent recession. Now is when the State of Ohio is willing
to contribute over $11.5 million dollars to our community. Now is when our district has entered into tax
abatement agreements with businesses and has reserved those dollars to lower the contribution to the
project by our community members."
The cost to a homeowner with property valued at $100,000 and earning $30,000 a year should expect to pay
$20.54 per month. (A graph can be found at www.northwoodschools.org/domain/276, Update – Individual
Investment Opportunity.)
The plan hasn’t changed from November: Tear down Olney Elementary, Lark Elementary and Northwood
Elementary, all between 50 and 75 years old; and partially tear down with the high school, leaving
common spaces, including the gymnasium and auditorium, for continued community and student use.
The new school would be built on the Lemoyne Road campus.