South-Western City School District Ohio School Facilities Commission
MARCH 6, 2012 – Issue 8: WHAT, WHY & HOW
BUILDING VALUE FOR OUR FUTURE
Issue 8 will not increase taxpayers' current costs. It will eliminate disparities across the district, wipe the slate clean on millions of dollars in maintenance costs to our school buildings, and add value to our community.
WHAT does the Issue 8 provide?
- Thirteen replacement elementary school buildings, two renovated elementary school buildings and a new Franklin Heights High School to replace aging and outdated facilities.
- Improvements to every elementary school in the district and our oldest high school, which will free up funds to be used to benefit students and other buildings.
WHY do replacement or renovated buildings matter?
- The buildings to be replaced have:
- $40 million in current deferred maintenance costs, which does not include further structural issues. If not addressed, these rising costs could result in extended building closures and/or safety issues. The current annual expenditure of $1 million per year cannot keep pace with the repairs needed in the buildings.
- Obsolete electrical systems that cannot support modern educational technology.
- Inefficient heating and ventilation systems that are outdated and provide inadequate air quality - making it difficult to regulate classroom temperatures throughout the buildings.
- Classrooms that are too small to meet today's educational standards.
- Power outages, frozen pipes, and other building failures that distract students and hamper learning.
- Antiquated security systems and inadequate handicap accessibility that limit the ability to provide the safety features necessary in the world today.
- Insufficient space to consider optional all-day, every-day kindergarten.
- The replaced and renovated school buildings will:
- Eliminate disparities among our elementary school buildings by ensuring up-to-date learning environments.
- Allow for financial savings through new energy efficiencies and an administrative reduction.
- Provide current technology, learning environments and educational resources students need as well as the space for all-day, every-day kindergarten.
- Help our schools, homes and community stay attractive to families and businesses.
HOW do the economics work?
- We will receive more than $120 million in State funds toward the cost of the project, if we pass Issue 8 to fund our local share.
- Without the matching funds provided by Issue 8, the State will send those dollars elsewhere.
- If we wait, the State's program could end.
- We can fund our local share without increasing annual costs to taxpayers.
- Passage of Issue 8 (2.9 mill bond issue) will keep our current collection rate at or below 2012 levels because of retiring debt.
- We can eliminate $40 million in current deferred maintenance costs saving taxpayers money.
- All of the State funds & the bond issue funds will be used for new facilities, building renovations and other permanent improvements. None of it will be used for operating costs, salaries or benefits.
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Issue 8 Frequently Asked Questions (pdf)
Q: Will Issue 8 cost taxpayers more money?
A: Taxpayers will not be paying any more annually with the passage of Issue 8 than they are currently paying. This bond gives the district the legal authority to continue to collect what is currently being collected – but for a new project.
Q: How long before new buildings will open?
A: The entire project should take approximately five years to complete. With the passage of Issue 8 and the State contributing $120 million, we can break ground in 2013 and begin opening new buildings in 2014.
Q: If Issue 8 doesn't pass, how much money will I get back?
A: In the short term, less than $90 per year on a home valued at $100,000. The real issue is that our buildings are aging rapidly and becoming more and more expensive to maintain. Delaying the project will likely cost taxpayers more in the long run due to increased maintenance costs, interest rates that could escalate, higher construction costs, and the possible elimination of the state matching funds.
Q: What happens without Issue 8?
A: We wouldn't be able to bring $120 million in State money into our community OR save money on deferred maintenance and energy costs OR improve all of our buildings and build new ones to provide our children with up-to-date technology and enhanced learning environments.
Q: What about the middle schools?
A: Middle school students, as well as students in the other remaining buildings, will benefit because this project frees up existing funds that can be reallocated for improvements. The bond issue was created to address the largest number of buildings possible, to create the greatest operational savings, and to correct the issues in our most needy school buildings, without increasing our current collection rates.
Q: Which two elementary schools will be merged?
A: Finland Elementary and East Franklin Elementary Schools. The Ohio School Facilities Commission has determined that it is not cost efficient to have a building with an enrollment below 350 students. By combining these buildings, we will be able to save operating costs, while keeping an elementary building close to the existing neighborhood. Additional work will need to be completed to determine which of the two sites makes the most sense for the replacement building.
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Issue 8 Ballot Language Brochure
Issue 8 Ballot Language Brochure (Spanish)
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02/21/12 Issue 8 is good deal for taxpayers(This Week News article)
02/17/12 South-Western City Schools bond levy improves schools without increasing taxes (Columbus Dispatch article)
02/15/12 School superintendent's thoughts on Issue 8 (Columbus Messenger article)
02/08/12 Issue 8 gets Grove City Council endorsement (This Week News article)
02/08/12 Issue 8 would build 13 new (replacement) schools, replace FHHS (This Week News article)
02/01/12 South-Western City Schools Bond Issue (NBC4i.com article)
01/30/12 Flexible space a goal for new schools proposed for South-Western (The Columbus Dispatch article)
01/27/12 Unofficially, trustees view Issue 8 positively (This Week News article)
01/21/12 SWCS Places Issus on Ballot (Business Monthly article)
01/18/12 Plan Would Save FHHS Auditorium (This Week News article)
01/10/12 Not All Districts Can Raise Money to Build (This Week News article)
11/29/11 Bond Issue to be on March Ballot (This Week News article)
11/08/11 SWCS Plans No New Millage Bond Issue (Columbus Messenger article)
11/08/11 Bonds would build new schools in South-Western District (Columbus Dispatch article)
11/04/11 Deficiencies Cited Among Some Buildings (This Week News article)
10/26/11 District Faces $70M in 'Deferred' Maintenance (This Week News article)
10/22/11 District Taking Steps to Replace Old Buildings (Columbus Messenger article)
9/16/11 District Eyes State Facilities Program (This Week News article)
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Andrew Maletz and Mike Dingeldein, SHP Leading Design, presented options of what could be available to the district for a possible OSFC project at the October 24, 2011 Board of Education meeting.
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