Thursday, December 02, 1999

2 new schools would use up much of bond

Enquirer Contributor

        UNION TOWNSHIP — Construction of a junior school and an elementary school would use up more than half of the proceeds of a bond issue that Lakota district voters will decide next March.

        The bond issue would raise $44.5 million, with about $25 million going into the two new schools.

        On Monday, the school board asked the county auditor to determine how much a 4.9-mill operating levy would raise. The levy also will appear on the March ballot.

        A final board vote on the issues is set for Monday.

        The board Monday took the first step to put the bond issue on the March primary ballot by adopting resolutions asking the Butler County auditor to certify the millage necessary to raise the dollars and pay it back over a 25-year period. A third resolution was adopted asking the auditor to determine the dollars a 4.9-mill operating levy would raise. It, too, will be on the March ballot.

        Lakota Treasurer Alan Hutchinson said the levy would bring the district about $8.2 million annually, enough to operate the district for the next four years. He estimated that a 1.84-mill bond issue would be needed to raise the $44.5 million.

        Both issues combined would cost the owner of a house with a market value of $100,000 an additional $206 in taxes each year.

        Building the junior school is estimated to cost $14.5 million; the elementary school, $10.5 million. The bond issue also would pay for land for future schools, to upgrade technology and to fund three years of a five-year capital improvements plan. Lakota East and West high schools would get a weight room, classroom additions and a field house.

        Parent Gayle Martz urged the board not to overlook the needs at Hopewell Elementary School, the district's largest and one of its oldest buildings.

        Mrs. Martz, who heads Hopewell's parent teacher group, said the school needs windows with screens to keep bees out and better ventilation, noting that even with fans people have passed out from the heat.


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