Christina Elliott, principal at Rockway Elementary School, talks about how the dropped ceiling collapsed in one room due to water. Bill Lackey/Staff

Clark-Shawnee special election seeks $37M for new, renovated schools

For the third time in less than a year, Clark-Shawnee Local Schools voters will go to the polls next week to decide if they will pay more taxes for new schools.

Voters will decide in an Aug. 8 special election on a $37 million bond issue to build a new elementary school across the street from Shawnee High School and renovate the high school. The bond issue is for 5.3 mills for 37 years and will cost the owner of a $100,000 house a little more than $15 a month.

MORE: Clark-Shawnee to go to voters 3rd time for new schools

If voters pass the bond issue, the Ohio Facilities Construction Commission will pay $15 million of the project’s total cost. However, if voters deny the bond, the money will no longer be guaranteed to the district and it will be put on a wait list.

“This will restore Shawnee High School to like new conditions,” Superintendent Gregg Morris said of the bond issue. “It will be totally redoing the building. We worked collaboratively with the community to develop this plan. This plan would provide for safe, warm, great facilities to our students with technology in the classroom for today’s education.”

The schools are becoming some of the oldest in the county, Morris said. Parent Erin Hannan said she plans to vote yes because she wants to ensure her property value doesn’t fall.

MAY RESULTS: Greenon, Clark-Shawnee bond issue election results

“Families will not want to look in this area,” she said. “It’s a shame because our district has the excellence in education piece. We just need to give our community the safe schools and environment to learn the best in.”

Resident Shelly O’Brien said she hasn’t been persuaded and will vote no on the bond issue.

“I understand that they want money but my take on it is if you have been maintaining those buildings, you wouldn’t need to be charging us,” she said.

She said she doesn’t trust the district enough to give them more money.

“Stop going to the taxpayer and find another way,” she said.

EXTRA: Clark-Shawnee to move 7th and 8th grade to high school next year

Kari Griffith, who is a parent in the district, said she plans to vote for the bond issue. She said the current elementary schools need to be replaced.

“The state is offering $15 million, how do you say no to that?” Griffith said.

Resident Alan Brown will again vote no. He, too, said he doesn’t trust the district with new money.

“People are not arguing that the buildings are in disrepair, but they do not like how they are being run,” he said.

Brown said he thinks some voters who voted yes in previous elections will decide to vote no because they are tired of being asked for money.

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