Fairfield Schools host open house ahead of November bond issue

FAIRFIELD TOWNSHIP, OH (FOX19) - Voters in Fairfield will have the choice to vote for or against a school bond on the November ballot.

The 2.62 mill bond will help generate more than $60 million to partner with funds from the Ohio School Facilities Commission with a plan to help build three new schools in the district, bringing the total cost of the project to about $80 million.

On Thursday, the doors were open late at two schools that could be replaced so residents could have a chance to see what they could vote for.

At Central Elementary in Fairfield, there are plenty of problems. Some walls are cracking, the floors are damaged, no air conditioning and a lacking security system -- and that's just scratching the surface.

"The classrooms are small. They don't accommodate room for the students. The conditions are deteriorating. We have pipes that are bursting and rusting," said Principal Karrie Gallo.

Those are just a handful of the problems at Central Elementary, which was built in 1929. Just across the parking lot sits Fairfield Freshman School, built in 1951. They're two of the oldest buildings in the district.

If passed, the bond would replace them and build another elementary school. One visitor on Thursday recognizes the problems, but has a lot to think about.

"I'm still formulating my opinion. I want to see all the numbers that the district is going to come up with. I want to see what needs there are," said Michael Berding of Fairfield Township.

The bond will cost homeowners $91.70 a year for each $100,000 the home is worth.

It might not seem like much, but for one voter, this issue is something she just can't get behind.

"I'm a single mom, and the way the economy is, it's tough, and I don't want my house payment going up any more. No, I will vote this issue down," said the woman, who declined to give FOX19 her name.

The Ohio School Facilities Commission has already approved $19 million to help with the projects.  However, Fairfield won't see that money if the bond issue doesn't pass.

"We're not being facetious. We're not asking for luxuries. We're asking for necessities," Gallo told FOX19.

If the bond passes, construction could start in 2014 with students moving in for classes in the fall of 2016.

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