Delaware voters approved both a tax levy and bond issue for Delaware City Schools Tuesday.
According to Superintendent Paul Craft, the tax levy, a permanent improvement levy, deals specifically with things like school buses, building maintenance, technology infrastructure and textbooks. The bond issue will generate approximately $36.5 million for the district to do additions and modifications to various schools to account for growth without going to voters for additional funds.
Craft said passage of the levy and bond issue will not result in a tax increase.
According to unofficial results from the Delaware County Board of Elections, there were 2,621 votes (70 percent) for the tax levy and 1,117 votes (30 percent) against. The bond issue received 2,420 votes (65 percent) in favor of passage and 1,302 votes (35 percent) against.
Craft and other school officials gathered at Willis Education Center Tuesday night to go over results and declared victory just before 9 p.m.
“The community really has rallied around us again in an incredible way, and that’s a testament to what happens in our classrooms every day … it’s the result of a commitment to our neighborhood schools that we’re going to continue with what we’re about to do,” Craft said after the declaration.
Tuesday’s election was Craft’s final one with the district after announcing earlier this year that the current school year would be his last. He thanked everyone involved with the seven ballot issues the district passed in his nine years as superintendent.
“The only reason we could do that is because of your hard work and the hard work of this team,” Craft said. “Seven for seven in this community tells you what this community aspires to. That’s been a great journey. We can all go home knowing our bus fleet is going to be in good shape and will continued to be supported; our technology, our textbooks, and our facilities will continue to be maintained. Our (average building age) of 53 years will, in 20 years, be 73 years because we’ve invested in those buildings. We’ll all go home to our families knowing that we can come back tomorrow and continue the work we do for our kids every day.”
Delaware City Schools Board of Education President Jayna McDaniel-Browning, who chaired a levy committee in 2013, also thanked the district’s administrators and community.
“I am filled with gratitude for our community and their support,” she said. “I couldn’t imagine a better place to live or a better place to raise my kids where they can go to a great school and be surrounded by great people. All the people who have dedicated time and talents to our levies and our bond issues, and to these two issues this year, we are so grateful for your support. We are so grateful for the time you put in.”
The permanent improvement levy was originally passed in 1989 and has been renewed or replaced five times in the last 30 years to account for inflation.
The additions and renovations that will be made possible because of the passage of the bond issue are still being planned and discussed, but they could include an addition to the front of Carlisle Elementary to create a more secure entrance; a small addition at Conger Elementary to account for future enrollments from developments like The Ravines at Olentangy or Terra Alta; a substantial improvement to the playground at Smith Elementary; an increase in preschool classrooms at Woodward Elementary School; renovation or replacement of the tech center at Dempsey Middle School; and renovations like finishes and cabinetry to the 2000 academic wing at Hayes High School, as well as an additional student seating area at the stadium.
Last month, Craft said the district is aiming to ensure all the buildings have capacity for students through at least 2027.
Glenn Battishill can be reached at 740-413-0903 or on Twitter @BattishillDG.