Saturday, December 6, 2003

Franklin Schools asking for help

By Sue Kiesewetter
Enquirer contributor

FRANKLIN - Voters in the Franklin Schools will face two separate ballot questions in the March 2 primary.

The first, a 7.43-mill combination issue, includes 5.7 mills for day-to-day operations and a 1.73-mill bond issue that would add classrooms at the district's six elementary schools and junior high.

The levy portion would bring about $2.3 million annually to district coffers, offsetting a projected $1.2 million deficit expected during the 2004-05 school year, said Jana Bellamy, district treasurer.

"We are at critical needs for staffing, and our buildings are in dire need of repair,'' said Superintendent Kimberlee Gray. "One without the other doesn't meet our children's needs.''

At least two classrooms would be added to each elementary school, while the junior high could get a dozen or more rooms depending on the final plan. Sixth-graders will be pulled out of the elementary buildings and moved to the expanded junior high, which would become a middle school, Gray said.

The extra space at the elementary schools would be used to provide separate classrooms for computer labs, art, music and special-education needs in the Warren County district of 3,150 pupils.

The second ballot issue is a .39-mill bond issue that would provide $2.45 million for improvements at the stadium and funds to build a multipurpose room for fitness and other similar equipment. Deteriorating seats at the stadium would be replaced with handicap-accessible seats.

The combination issue would add $227.54 annually to the tax bill of a $100,000 house. The bond issue would add $11.94.

A vote to put the issue on the ballot is scheduled for Monday.


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