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Pickerington school district places $90 million bond on November ballot

According to the school district, the bond, if passed, will not increase tax rates for residents.

PICKERINGTON, Ohio — The last two have failed. In November, the Pickerington Local School District will place a third bond issue on the ballot that it says will drastically help with overcrowding.

“Honestly, we’re at a place now where we just can’t wait any longer,” Tom Dains said.

Dains is the chair for Vote4PickKids. It’s an organization that supports a newly proposed $89.930 million bond issue.

“I don’t know about you, but I can’t go down to the local event hall and exceed capacity there,” he said. “It’ll be shut down by the fire marshal. Why should we expect our schools to be any different?”

According to the district both Toll Gate Elementary and Central High School are exceeding capacity and five more schools have capacity of more than 90%. It also estimates in five years an additional 1,000students will be enrolled.

The question: How much will this cost me?

The answer: Maybe nothing.

“Based on what we’re seeing, we’re not gonna see a tax increase for the majority of people in Pickerington and that’s a great thing,” Dains said. “We love that this is a place you can live where taxes are low [and] we want to keep it that way.”

The reason for that is twofold: First, Dains says the district has been good stewards with its money and paying off debt. The second reason is due to an increase in local property value.

This proposed bond is about $5 million lower than similar ballot issues that were turned down in November 2020 and May 2021.

Dains hopes the third time is the charm.

“Absolutely,” he said. “I think this is the time.”

If voters pass it, it would, among other things, build a new junior high school, renovate Ridgeview Junior High School and add 24 classrooms to Central High School and 18 classrooms at North High School.

If the bond does not pass, the district says it could have to redraw district lines as well as switch to hybrid learning.

“We’re gonna be looking at some very tough choices in the future,” Dains said. “Whether that’s hybrid learning, or modulars out in parking lots or renting space in an abandoned retail spot. None of those are great options.”

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