Buckeye Valley’s bid to build two new elementary school facilities will cost no more than $31.3 million.
The Buckeye Valley Board of Education took the second of three steps to place a 30-year, 3.1-mill bond issue on the November ballot at a special meeting Wednesday.
“This was a date we had to meet for getting the bond issue up in November,” said Tom Kaelber, president of the school board.
If approved, the bond issue would pay for the construction of two new elementary buildings — one in Ashley and another at a to-be-determined location on the west side of the district — the purchase of land and the demolition of the three existing elementary facilities in Ashley, Ostrander and Radnor. The latter school closed in 2012 due to budget constraints.
According to Delaware County Auditor George Kaitsa, the bond issue, if approved by voters, would cost an additional $108.50 in property taxes annually on a property valued at $100,000.
Under the plan, fifth-grade students, who currently attend the middle school, would once again be back in an elementary setting, as they were before the closure of North Elementary in 2012.
At recent community forums, district residents also considered a $36.3 million plan to construct a new high school and move elementary students to the current middle school and a $29.3 million plan to build two new elementary buildings in Ashley and Ostrander.
The district’s newest elementary school was built in 1947, although additions have been made to each since that time. Maintenance and repair costs are starting to accumulate in the aging buildings that lack the infrastructure to handle all of today’s modern technology and air-conditioning.
District voters, however, have resoundingly rejected two consecutive bond issue proposals, one of which would have paid for the construction of a single facility on Coover Road and another that would have covered the cost to renovate the buildings in Ashley, Ostrander and Radnor.
But Kaelber believes there is momentum behind the latest effort due to the amount of community input the district received.
“This came from the citizens committee,” he said.Dustin Ensinger can be reached at 740-413-0902 or on Twitter @EnsingerDG.