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Columbus City Schools votes to put levy, bond issue on November ballot

The Columbus Board of Education agreed to place a 4.7 mill permanent improvement levy and a $680 million bond on the November ballot.

COLUMBUS, Ohio — The Columbus Board of Education voted to move forward to place a plan 4.7 mill permanent improvement levy and a $680 million bond on the November ballot.

If it passes, it will build five schools across the district.

According to a press release from the school board, the plans would create the following:  

  • A new high school with the capacity to serve 1,600 students at the current site of Marion-Franklin High School and the former Beery Middle School. 
  • A new high school with the capacity to serve 2,000 students at the current site of Beechcroft High School. 
  • A new middle school with the capacity to serve 1,000 students at the current site of Mifflin Middle School. 
  • A new elementary school with the capacity to serve 600 students at the current site of Winterset Elementary School. 
  • A new elementary school with the capacity to serve 600 students at the current site of Eakin Elementary School. 

10TV spoke with Bill DeMora, a homeowner who lives in the Short North.

"Both of my parents were public school teachers, so I generally support all levies,” he said. "I mean, it's better to learn in new schools (with) technology. You get computers and it's just easier to learn. I think they definitely need new schools throughout the district.”

If the plans are voted on in November, they would require property tax increases for Columbus homeowners like DeMora.

The district said it would be $267 in additional property tax a year based on a $100,000 home. That’s roughly a 13% increase in total property tax.

"Knowing voters the way I do, if you tell them you're going to increase a property tax by 13% it's going to have a tough time passing,” DeMora said.

During the meeting, President of the Board Jennifer Adai said this could give children what they need to succeed.

"This process is about building communities of learning that effectuate the portrait that allows our students to be portrait ready, to have rigorous education and opportunities, educationally and career-wise,” Adair said.

If voters do approve the ballot issue in November, the Board said design work will begin on the new construction sometime next year.

The first building projects will start in 2024, followed by the first of the new schools opening as soon as the 2025-2026 school year.

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