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Our View: District has cost-effective plan for a new high school

Published: February 13, 2013 12:00 AM

Streetsboro school officials are moving forward with a plan that could result in a new high school at a relatively low cost to the community.

The $66.5 million building program would cover the cost of constructing a new high school, renovating the existing high school for use as a middle school and transforming Campus Elementary School into a primary school for students from kindergarten through third grade.

According to a plan presented to the Streetsboro Board of Education, 35 percent of the cost of the master plan would be funded through the Ohio School Facilities Commission, which would leave the district with a price tag of $29.2 million to finance through a bond issue. The district has a credit of $13.9 million built up over the past 10 to 12 years through the Expedited Local Partnership Program.

Raising $29.2 million would require about 3.4 mills, plus an additional half-mill required by the state to ensure operation of the facility. The cost for the owner of a $100,000 home would be about $124 per year in additional property taxes. That's a little more than $10 per month.

The School Board also has the option of adding what the OSFC refers to as Locally Funded Initiatives to the plan, which are paid by the district. An auditorium, new stadium, field house or community library are some items the School Board has discussed adding, but it wants to gauge the community's desires before adding anything to the project.

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During discussion of the plan by the School Board, the consensus was to seek a single bond issue to finance the entire project rather than seek separate bond issues to do it piecemeal. That appears to be a wise move that could be a cost-saver; inflation could drive up the price if the master plan is built in phases.

Streetsboro High School was built 50 years ago to serve a community that had not yet attained city status. While it is still serviceable as a school facility, it does not meet the needs of a modern high school. Streetsboro remains a magnet for residential growth; a new high school with room for growth makes sense.

A bond issue for a new high school was rejected by voters several years ago. The plan under discussion seems like a cost-effective approach to a pressing community need.

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