Greenon taking steps to begin construction of new $54 million school

Greenon Local School leaders are close to making major moves to start the construction project that will build a new pre-k through 12th-grade building in the district.

A lot of hard work has been done over the summer to make sure the district is ready to move forward with the project, Superintendent Brad Silvus said. The district has sold bonds, worked with the Ohio Facility Construction Commission and toured other schools to determine what they might want in the school.

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Voters approved a $36 million bond issue May 2 by about 500 votes to build a new pre-k through 12th-grade school. The 6.98-mill bond will cost a taxpayer who owns a $100,000 property in the district a little more than $20 a month. The state will pick up $18 million of the costs through the Ohio Facilities Construction Commission.

Silvus said he wants to be as transparent as possible during the process and to do that held a meeting this week to inform residents of what’s been done and what to expect.

“The community is interested and they are involved and they want to have a good quality school built in this community,” he said. “We are hoping to keep people engaged throughout this whole process of design which is what will come next and keep the momentum coming.”

Resident Janet Scott said she does not have children in the district anymore, but she still wanted to support the school system.

MORE: Greenon offers more school tours ahead of $54M construction

“Greenon is the oldest school in the area,” Scott said. “It’s getting dilapidated. I’ve always been a supporter for new schools.”

School Board President Dennis Henry said keeping the community informed is a top priority for him.

“As we have said from the beginning we want the community to drive the levy,” Henry said. “We want to know how you want the facility and how you want this facility managed.”

Henry said the first thing the school wanted to do was make sure the state was going to contribute their promised share of the cost.

“We were very successful,” he said. “The state has told us the money is secured and waiting for us to start construction.”

He said the state requires that it is given a lot of control of the project, including in hiring an architect because it is spending money on the project. He said he hopes the school is able to hire an architect within the next couple of weeks.

Henry said the state will get what it needs to make sure the project is finished.

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The school has sold the majority of the bonds for the project. Greenon Treasurer Brad McKee said he split the bond in late August to get taxpayers the best deal possible. He said they have sold 29.5 million worth of bonds so far.

“The 29.5 million is credit enhanced by the State of Ohio and by doing that we got a Double-A two rate which gets the better rating. That lowers our interest rate that we pay out,” he said. “When we estimated the interest rate at the time we passed the levy, it was the same time as the presidential election. I didn’t know who was going to be president so I wanted to be conservative because I didn’t want to have to go back to the tax base and say I need some more money.”

By the Numbers

$54 million: Total cost of the new Greenon school.

$36 million Total cost taxpayers in the district agreed to pay for the new Greenon school.

$18 million: Amount the state of Ohio has offered Greenon to help build a new school.

Continuing Coverage

The Springfield News-Sun has extensively covered the Greenon bond issue and building project including in depth articles on surveys, cost and the school tours.

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