To accommodate a growing student population, Avon Local Schools officials and administrators want a new $32 million middle school. The only question is, does the community want it too?
Voters will answer that question on Nov. 8 at the polls, and in the meantime, the Avon Board of Education – along with the Strategic Planning and School Levy committees – will be reaching out to the public to garner support.
Issue 8, the 32-year, 1.25-mill bond issue, would make way for the 160,000 square foot middle school, and would cost taxpayers an additional $38.29 per year for every $100,000 in valuation, school board president Kevin Romanchok said.
“This is the first bond request in 15 years that the board is coming to the public with,” Romanchok said at Tuesday's school board meeting. “…This particular bond issue is 1.25 mills, and when you compare that to Vermillion and Sheffield, certainly the cost factors significantly differ between the communities.”
Vermillion City Schools are seeking approval of a 3.98-mill levy to renovate 70,000 square feet of its high school. The levy would run for 37 years and cost homeowners an additional $121.98 per year for every $100,000 in valuation. Sheffield City Schools just passed a $31 million, 4.94-mill issue ($151.31 per year for every $100,000 in valuation) which will run for 34 years.
If the Avon Schools issue passes, the school would be complete by 2014 and would open its doors to 1,200 sixth, seventh and eighth grade students. At maximum capacity, the school would hold 1,600 students.
The current middle school was designed for 500 students, and 617 are currently enrolled there, Romanchok said.
School officials opted to build the new school versus renovating the old Avon Middle School because building consultants had determined it would cost more than $20 million to renovate the 60-year-old building, Superintendent Jim Reitenbach said.
Board and committee are planning to turn the existing middle school into a primary school and possibly retiring Village Elementary, Romanchok said. Other plans for Village could include converting it into a meeting place or activity area for local groups and organizations.
The new middle school would be built on property the district owns on Long Road.