COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) – Voters in the Columbus City Schools district will decide if they want to fund a new multimillion-dollar bond and levy plan for new schools on their ballots, the Columbus Board of Education announced Thursday.
During the board’s Tuesday meeting, it decided between three different plans. In a five to two vote, the board picked the one that would include $680 million in bonds and a 4.7 mill levy property tax. The money generated from this plan would be used to build five new schools across the Columbus City Schools district in the same places as existing schools:
- A 1,600-student high school at the location of Marion-Franklin High School and the former Beery Middle School.
- A 2,000-student high school at the site of Beechcroft High School.
- A 1,000-student middle school at the location of Mifflin Middle School.
- A 600-student elementary school at the site of Winterset Elementary School.
- A 600-student elementary school at the site of Eakin Elementary School.
The plans do not give details on how the existing schools would be consolidated into the new school buildings when they are finished, according to the board. Board President Jennifer Adair also added that more construction plans could be on the way.
“…To be fully transparent; this is only the beginning,” Adair said. “We know that our community has told us that we need at least 19 new learning communities… Our kids deserve this. This process will be challenging, but our community is behind us.”
If the bond and levy plan is approved, property owners in the school district would see a 13% increase in their property taxes, according to the Columbus Board of Education. For a $100,000 home, the board said it would cost the owner an additional $267 in property tax per year. With the average home price in Columbus sitting at $325,000, that could be more than $800 per year.
Construction on new schools if voters approve the bond and levy plan would start in 2024. The first of the five new schools would open in the 2025-26 school year, according to the board. View the plans for each new school below:
Other board members who voted in favor of the bond and levy plan echoed Adair’s support for the project. The two board members who voted against it said they supported another option with the same 4.7 mill levy, but $305 million in bonds instead.
“I am supportive of Option 2,” said Board Member Dr. Tina Price. “At this point, to move forward with a segment that I’m unclear of and need additional information about is not being diligent on my part.”
View the board’s resolution to bring the bond and levy plan before voters by clicking here.