Southwest Licking voters again reject bond request

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The Southwest Licking school district may have to go back to the drawing board after its 37-year bond request was rejected May 6 for the second time.

With all 17 precincts reporting, unofficial results from the Licking County Board of Elections had the bond issue failing by 2,737 votes (54 percent) to 2,320 votes (46 percent).

The 6.1-mill, 37-year bond issue would have raised more than $66.5 million for a $109 million facility construction and renovation project.

The Ohio Facilities Construction Commission would have contributed $42.5 million to the project.

Construction money from the state still would be available to the district, OFCC spokesman Rick Savors said previously, but the offered sum might not be the same with a third request and the district would have to raise its local share before receiving the state money.

Southwest Licking officials had planned to build a high school and an elementary school; renovate the current high school into a middle school; renovate all three elementary buildings; and convert the existing middle school into a pre-kindergarten center, district offices and transportation center.

“It’s extremely disappointing to think now that we’ve got to look at modulars and piece-mealing different buildings for our students,” said Debra Moore, Southwest Licking school board vice president. “We’ve got some significant issues with our buildings, certainly overcrowding. ... I think that’s what’s disappointing, is that we’ve got to put Band-Aids on everything and the community’s going to wonder why they’re looking at Band-Aids, and we’ll have to say the bond didn’t pass.”

A similar 6.04-mill bond issue failed Nov. 5, 2013, with 3,033 people voting against it and 2,598 voting in favor, or about 54 percent to 46 percent.

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