Delaware News

School bond issue

Campaign revs up as district sets meetings

April gatherings show planned renovations to Delaware voters

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As the shadow of the May election grows, the Delaware City School District has stepped up its campaign.

The district held a campaign kickoff event March 21 for community members and leaders to showcase conceptual drawings for the building renovations that would be completed if the May bond issue is approved by voters.

The district is asking voters to approve a 3.6-mill bond issue with a four year draw-out that, by 2017, will cost homeowners about $60 more annually per $100,000 in property value. The funds must be put toward district facilities.

Superintendent Paul Craft said he believes community members are on board with the district's goals.

"People are starting to see that this bond issue really is a good blend of meeting the district's needs and still honoring the neighborhood school tradition," he said.

Craft said there already have been some great discussions and questions from interested community members.

"People are very engaged and interested. We are also seeing worries in terms of increases in taxes," he said. "But all things considered, this is the least-expensive plan we could go with."

Craft said those who are following the debate on neighborhood schools versus consolidated schools in the Olentangy Local School District have raised their concerns in Delaware.

"We didn't want to do consolidation of our schools," he said. "We wanted to use the schools we already have and we want them near the families that we serve."

Craft said if the district were to build new schools on its periphery, it would not only be more expensive, but the neighborhood feel would be lost.

The district will hold informational meetings at each elementary school in April, as well as one at the high school that will cover the plans for the intermediate, middle and high schools.

Craft said the meetings are open to all community members. Each meeting will feature discussion of the plans for the host school and what students will experience during renovations.

"We will cover what the district is achieving for what we're spending and we will talk about what this bond issue means for the students and the community," Craft said.

The meetings begin at 6:30 p.m. on the following dates:

* Tuesday, April 2, at Conger Elementary School, 10 Channing St.

* Wednesday, April 3, at Woodward Elementary School, 200 S. Washington St.

* April 9 at Carlisle Elementary School, 746 state Route 37 W.

* April 10 at Smith Elementary School, 355 N. Liberty St.

* April 11 at Schultz Elementary School, 499 Applegate Lane.

* April 17 at Hayes High School, 289 Euclid Ave. This meeting will focus on Dempsey Middle School and Willis Intermediate School as well as the high school.

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