Austintown rejects school bond issue

Mahoning County schools didn’t fare much better than Trumbull County in Tuesday’s primary election.

Austintown voters turned down a 4.1-mill capital improvement bond – 65 percent to 35 percent – that would have provided a local match to the 47 percent the state was willing to chip in for the new school.

The state won’t provide money for an auditorium, so $10 million of the bond issue was for that purpose. The rest of the bond would have been used for demolition of the old building as well as renovation of the football stands.

“Well, listening to the public, and I’m out there a lot – I have five kids – I didn’t think it had a chance,” Board of Education member Harold Porter said. “My take is we need an operating levy, more than a new Fitch.”

Since the bond failed, Austintown will be labeled a lapsed district, and the state money will go elsewhere.

The district is still faced with a 50-year-old building that needs a new heating / cooling system, a roof, and an auditorium lighting system that cannot be upgraded, all of which would cost more than $9 million.