Huge Warren County school construction project cleared with Election Night win

This is an artist's rendering of what the new Franklin High School could look like as part of a two-phase partnership with the state. On Tuesday, voters approved a 6.52-mill bond issue for new school construction. The new high school and the renovation of the current high school will be the first buildings constructed in the two phase program. In several years, the state will cover the costs to build three new elementary schools. CONTRIBUTED/FRANKLIN CITY SCHOOLS
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This is an artist's rendering of what the new Franklin High School could look like as part of a two-phase partnership with the state. On Tuesday, voters approved a 6.52-mill bond issue for new school construction. The new high school and the renovation of the current high school will be the first buildings constructed in the two phase program. In several years, the state will cover the costs to build three new elementary schools. CONTRIBUTED/FRANKLIN CITY SCHOOLS

Franklin voters on Tuesday approved a 37-year, 6.52-mill bond issue that will generate more than $66 million so the district can participate in the Ohio Facilities Construction Commission’s Expedited Local Partnership Plan.

The bond issue passed 60% to 40%, according to final, unofficial results from the Warren County Board of Elections.

ExploreFranklin seeks bond issue to secure state aid in $130 million school construction project

Now that local funding has been approved, the state would provide funding availability in 2027 for Franklin to build three new elementary school buildings or about 57% of the overall $130 million project cost planned by the school board.

The additional property taxes approved means an owner of home valued at $100,000 about $228.20 more a year, according to the Warren County Auditor’s Office.

The local bond issue funding will cover the costs of a new high school with career tech, renovation of the existing high school for use as a middle school housing grades 6-8 and other site improvements, including a new roof.

It would also cover local initiatives such as constructing a new bus garage, moving the central office installing gas and other utility lines, and the demolition of Hampton Bennett School for a new student parking lot.

Franklin Superintendent of Schools Michael Sander said will be a one-year design phase and two years of construction so that the new high school opens in fall 2023 with the middle school opening in fall 2025.

ExploreFranklin board approves facilities plan including 4 new buildings

Sander praised the the community engagement and work of committee co-chairs Leigh Ann and Steven Burnett, and are teachers in the district, in getting the bond issue passed.

“The did a great job of making efficient and effective communication with the community,” Sander said. “It was a lot of phone calls, door to door visits, good old fashioned hard work and great support from the community at-large.”

MASON SCHOOL ISSUES

Voters in the Mason school district rejected an unusual series of tax issues to prevent future referendums to repeal or reduce existing levies.

ExploreMason parents put 9 issues on the ballot. But they don’t want them to pass

A parents group placed nine issues on the ballot to reduce the nine existing school levies by 0.01-mills each.

The group, however, did not actually want voters to approve decreasing the levies. Instead, they want to keep funding where it is by having their own issues defeated.

Rejection of the nine issues will maintain the same level of local tax revenue toward Mason Schools' annual $120 million operation budget.

Tracy Carson, Mason City Schools spokeswoman said the district was “grateful” to district voters. She said the vote affirmed the commitment to Mason high quality education and provide other services that students and the community expects.

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