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Franklin makes moves for bond issue to construct new school buildings

Franklin Board of Education approved the first of two resolutions to place a bond issue on the November 2020 general election ballot. The board wants to build a new high school, three new elementary schools and renovate the current high school into a junior high school. FILE PHOTO
Franklin Board of Education approved the first of two resolutions to place a bond issue on the November 2020 general election ballot. The board wants to build a new high school, three new elementary schools and renovate the current high school into a junior high school. FILE PHOTO

Franklin Schools approved the first of two resolutions to place a bond issue on the Nov. 3 general election ballot for four new school buildings and the renovation of the current Franklin High School.

The Franklin Board of Education approved a resolution to place a bond issue of $66.02 million on the ballot to participate in a Ohio Facilities Construction Commission program by raising enough funds. It wants to construct a new grade 9-12 high school with career tech and renovate the existing Franklin High School into a middle school to house grades 6-8.

Explore MORE: Franklin board approves facilities plan including 4 new buildings

Superintendent Michael Sander said the resolution of necessity is forwarded to the Warren County Auditor for review and determination of the millage amount for the bond issue.

District officials were told in April 2019 that there would be a slowdown in state school building construction funding and there would not be funding to assist Franklin schools until 2027. In May 2019, the board opted to move forward with a new building project through the state’s Expedited Local Partnership Program, which allows the project could be done in phases.

Explore MORE: State funding delayed for years? Warren County district looks at other options for building new schools

In addition to a new high school, the renovation of the current high school into the junior high and other local funded initiatives such as a new bus garage, moving the central office into the new high school building, installing gas and other utility lines, and the demolition of Hampton Bennett School for a new student parking lot would be covered by the estimated 4.94-mill bond issue, or 43 percent of the estimated $115 million project.

The remainder of the building project, construction of three new elementary schools, would be paid for by the state’s share of the project, about $65.6 million or 57 percent of the project when those funds become available.

Explore MORE: State funding for Franklin school construction delayed at least 6 years

Sander said the new high school would not have an auditorium and would use the auditorium now at the current high school on East Fourth Street. In addition, the roof at the current high school would be replaced, he said.

The next step would be for the board to adopt a resolution to proceed placing the bond issue on the ballot, Sander said. He said that would happen at the board’s July 27 meeting.