CIRCLEVILLE— The Logan Elm Local School District is going to the ballot on November 6 in an effort to build a pre-K -12 building that will provide a better education for the district’s students.
Per the proposed plans, the building will be located directly to the west of Logan Elm High School on the Tarlton Road campus. The current high school will be torn down and McDowell will remain as the District Office and as additional space to be used by the district as needed.
“The Board’s goal for the bond issue was to design a plan that would be approved by the Ohio Facilities Construction Commission, was fiscally responsible, benefited all the students in the district and was something the community could support,” Tim Williams, Superintendent, said.
If passed in November, construction would begin shortly thereafter and the building would open for the 2022-2023 school year. The thirty-seven year bond issue is for 6.79 mills with a .5 permanent improvement levy required by the state. It will cost $21.26 per month on $100,000 of property value.
“The bond will generate funds to construct a new building divided into three school zones,” Williams said. “The building will feature separate areas for elementary, middle and high school students.”
Williams said the new school will provide students with additional safety and security features that are not prevalent in the older buildings.
“A single campus will also allow our school resource officer to service all the students in the district,” Williams said.
Williams said by bringing all students to one campus, the district has developed a plan that was approved by OFCC and allows the district to better service all students.
“We’ll also be able to better balance class size in each grade, allow for collaboration among the grade levels and provide better support services to our students,” Williams said.
Williams said another advantage is lowering bus times for some of the students while maintaining routes for high school students and elementary students.
“Travel times for all students in grades five and six will be reduced by 30 minutes with the elimination of the shuttle bus system that transports students to Salt Creek,” he said. “Travel time for students in grades seven through 12 will remain the same. The goal of the administration and the board of education is to ensure all elementary routes are under one hour.”
Williams said despite combining the schools into one building, he expects staffing levels to remain the same.
“As enrollment has declined, we’ve reduced personnel through attrition,” Williams said. “We’ve done a good job of absorbing positions and we currently have the minimum amount of people needed to run the district. A new facility wouldn’t effect our employment numbers.”
Williams highlighted recent improvements on the district’s main campus, despite the fact the Board opted not to ask voters to renew the 1.2 mil permanent improvement levy that expired in December 2013. Despite the lost revenue, the district has been able to make some much needed improvements over the past year.
“That 1.2 mil permanent improvement levy was something the district opted not to ask voters to renew in 2013,” Williams said. “The District invested nearly $1 million on sewer upgrades that can support 2,500 students, resurfacing of the track and replacing the original lights on the campus, without needing to ask the tax payers for money or borrowing funds.”
When it comes to the old buildings, Williams said the district will work with the community to determine their futures and how to incorporate that history moving forward.
“The Board plans to form a committee with representatives from our community to decide how to incorporate the history of our 100-year old facilities into our new school,” he said.
Williams said the District is planning on sending all residents a newsletter with an update and posting items to District’s the website.