Alternatives to building a new Avon Middle School are short-term solutions that could hurt the Avon Local School District in the long run, several people at the final public forum before the March 6 primary said.
Issue 11, a $32 million bond issue to build a new middle school, and Issue 12, a combining of two existing operating levies into one 10-year, $2.5 million levy, were discussed at the forum.
Avon Middle School social studies Jennifer O'Leary said the levy support committee should show, rather than tell, the effects of the crowding in the middle school.
"They should show a video of what it's like between classes or at lunch," she said. "Or what 35 desks in a classroom looks like. Or how small our library is going to be after we divide it up to get another classroom."
Another teacher added that she's scared when a student drops something in the hall because they could get stepped on or tripped over while picking it up.
Adding on to the existing middle school won't solve long-term projected crowding issues at multiple schools or solve the problem of an aging school growing more and more unable to meet the demands of modern education, said school board member Art Goforth.
"It won't change the fact that the cafeteria's still too small, the bathrooms are still too small, the plumbing needs fixing and the electrical system can't handle the technology a middle school should have," Goforth said.
The middle school was built in 1956.
Adding classroom space would not solve the need for more science and computer lab space, said Kent Zeman.
"What we're looking to build into a new middle school, those aren't 'wants,'" he said. "The Ohio School Facilities Commission has determined what is right for students at this age level. And we used their plan to come up with what would be needed."
Mike Laub, who was part of the Continuous Improvement Plan committee that recommended building a new middle school, said building new had the best long-run bang for the buck.
"When we thought about what to do, we didn't want to take good taxpayer money and throw it at half a solution," he said.
The vote was so close in November, with the bond issue losing by 177 votes, getting out the vote among people who are supportive of the school district will be key, several in attendance said.
One woman in attendance said younger families with children not yet in schools are an untapped resource.
"We need to reach out," she said.
Bill Herrmann said he knows the $32 million price tag is expensive, but that the schools have shown themselves to be worth it.
"My daughter (Emily) is going to Miami University almost for free because of the quality of the education she got in Avon schools," he said. "We have to keep that up. If the state won't help, we have to do it. It's up to us to take care of our kids."