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Columbus City Schools Board approves combined levy and bond issue for November ballot

Columbus City Schools board members Tuesday night debated several options for future revenue. All included a 4.7 mill permanent improvement levy for capitol improvements like building maintenance and buses, and costing the owner of a 100,000 home an additional $164.50 per year.

The second option included the levy and a $305 million bond issue that would raise funds to complete 5 buildings in segment 4 of the district’s facilities master plan. It would add $46 to the tax bill of that same 100,000 home owner.

The third option included the permanent levy and a $608 million bond issue that would allow the districts to complete twice as many buildings, and cost the homeowner an additional $103 dollars a year.

The board voted 5-2 for the most expansive package. If approved, design could begin as soon as 2023, new schools could be completed between 2025 and 2029. Some of the schools that would be included are:

- a new, 1,600 student capacity high school at the current site of Marion-Franklin High School;

- a new 1,000 student capacity middle school at the current site of Mifflin Middle School;

- and a new 600-student capacity elementary school at the current site of Eakin Elementary.

Dr. Tina Pierce and new board member were Christina Vera were in favor of the mid-size funding request, that would establish the permanent levy and add 5 new buildings in segment 4 of the district plan. Both said they felt they need more information on the plans for segment 5 before putting a request before voters.

The last time the district went to voters with a request was 2016 for a combined operating levy, permanent improvement levy and $125 million bond issue.

It is the first request for new buildings since 2008.

A native of Chicago, naturalized citizen of Cincinnati and resident of Columbus, Alison attended Earlham College and the Ohio State University. She has equal passion for Midwest history, hockey and Slavic poetry.