Bristol voters to see bond issue

BRISTOL – The Bristol Board of Education took the final step needed Wednesday to place a 5.15-mill bond issue on the Aug. 5 special election ballot. The levy would raise the school district’s local share toward an $18 million high school for grades seven to 12.

The board by a 4-1 vote approved requesting the bond issue and an additional 0.5-mill tax for maintenance and upkeep of the new building.

Treasurer Mario Nero said the owner of a $100,000 home would pay around $197 a year toward the bond issue.

School officials said if passed in August, the bond would generate $9.5 million, and the Ohio Schools Facilities Commission would provide the other $8.7 million for construction.

Voters already rejected a 5.6-mill bond issue request in November, by a 62 percent to 38 percent count.

If the bond fails this time, the state will consider its offer to share the costs lapsed, Superintendent Christopher Dray has said.

Board member Kathleen Johnson cast the ”no” vote Wednesday.

She said many people she has spoken have indicated they cannot afford the levy and the years it would take to pay off.

The high school was constructed in 1918. School officials said despite maintenance efforts, rooms are either very hot or very cold, ceilings leak, and the building is not able to be modernized.

Plans call for a 150,000-square-foot building, smaller than the current, but with larger classrooms. The project will also include remodeling current classrooms into new board offices. The new school will be on property south of the current building and connect at the cafeteria.

A bond issue passed in 1999 paid for the local share for the new elementary section of the school.

Dray said OSFC officials have looked at the elementary building in March and found ”it is holding up very well with the roof in good condition.”

The district is one of 19 from across the Buckeye state that received an offer of funding from the OSFC, which oversees the state’s school facility renovation and construction program.