Northwest Schools discussing a levy for November ballot

COLERAIN TOWNSHIP, OH (FOX19) - The Northwest School District School Board meets Monday night to discuss putting a levy on November's ballot. More discussion is expected about a proposed bond issue to support construction of some new schools in the district, and renovating others.

The district says many of its schools are too old to update with new technology. The school board will also talk about combining elementary schools into new buildings to save operating costs.

Colerain Elementary School is nearly 90 years old, and district officials say that makes it hard to keep up with 21st century learning. That is just one school that will be replaced under a facilities plan for Northwest Schools.

Students in the Northwest School District are done for the summer. Now it is time for administrators to learn what the school board will do with a $125 million plan for new and renovated schools.

"We have some buildings' mechanical systems that are wearing out and need to be replaced. Some you can't find parts for anymore. So it's an added expense of keeping these buildings running," said Dr. Dan Lawler, Assistant Director of Business Services.

Two years ago, Northwest Schools created a master plan to renovate the high schools, two middle schools, and an elementary school. It also calls for building a new middle school and four elementary schools.

"Real estate-wise, it helps to show the future of what's coming," said Kathie Smith, real estate agent. "Knowing they have a plan to bring it up to the next level I think would help families who are looking--if school is important to them--with their move, it's really a big card to pass them to play."

The district says they know it might be a tough sell to taxpayers since the majority of residents don't have kids in the district. Dr. Lawler points out; the district is trying to find ways to save money; a key decision to combining elementary schools, which would reduce operating costs.

"That is a concern, the economy is wearing on peoples' minds but on the flip side, we think it will be a benefit to the community, a big benefit for the students so at some point you have to make the decision to get moving forward," said Dr. Lawler.

The Northwest School Board won't be voting Monday night on whether or not to put a bond issue on the November ballot, the meeting is just a work session for board members to ask questions.

If the board wants to put this on the November ballot, they have until July 18th to make that decision.

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