Northeastern Local Schools leaders released new details about two new proposed, $117 million pre-k through 12th-grade buildings close to current schools in the district.
The district is asking voters to approve a 37-year, $77 million bond issue this November that would allow it to build two new schools to replace its aging ones. The state has pledged $40 million to the project should district voters pass the bond.
MORE COVERAGE: Northeastern local schools seeks public input on future
Passage of the bond would cost the owner of a $100,000 home about $25 a month or $295 a year.
School leaders said during a forum Tuesday night that they’re pursuing property adjacent to the current Kenton Ridge High School and are working to acquire more land near South Vienna School.
The new school will be built closer to Ritchie Drive if a deal gets done and South Vienna would be turned into a parking lot for the new building.
The district’s architect, Mike Ruetschle with Ruetschle Architects Inc., said both areas would work for each building.
Northeastern, the second largest district in Clark County with about 3,300 students, is the last district in the county with two high schools. Northeastern Local School Superintendent John Kronour said about 2,200 students attend Kenton Ridge and its feeder schools, while about 1,100 go to Northeastern and its feeder schools.
The district released renderings of what the schools might look like. Northeastern would be 188,000 square feet while Kenton Ridge would need 265,000 square feet.
Both schools would use their current sports stadiums, even though Northeastern would move closer to South Vienna.
“Due to space restraints at South Vienna, our plan is to keep the athletic complex where it currently exists at the Northeastern site,” Ruetschle said. “It’s a major private investment and it is here to stay.”
It’s important to build new schools, Kronour said, and someone who supports new schools but thinks a different plan would be better should still consider voting yes on this one.
“Everyone has their own idea of what the best plan might be,” he said. “Whether we need two schools or one and where those schools should be located. But what you will hear me say over and over again, I can support any plan the community wants to do because it is going to get us new buildings for the kids, which are the most critical thing that we need.”
Many in attendance at the forum Tuesday said they plan to vote yes. A few people showed up who oppose the bond issue. Cathy Trimmer said during the meeting that she believes the school is taking in enough money as it is and shouldn’t be coming to voters for more.
Parent Brittany Thompson said she plans to support the bond issue come November.
“This upcoming building levy is of the utmost importance to the future of our schools,” she said. “I have paid school taxes before I had children and I voted yes for every school tax that came on the ballot even when I really did not have the extra money. That’s because public education is that important.”
By the numbers:
3,300: Students enrolled Northeastern School Local
$117 million: Total cost two build two new k-12 schools
$77 million: Bond issue amount voters will decide on in November
$40 million: Amount the state has pledged to build schools if voters vote yes in November.
The Springfield News-Sun has dug deep into the Northeastern bond issue and has covered the issue from the beginning. The Springfield News-Sun has gone inside the schools to show you what’s really going on.