Upper Arlington City Schools will ask voters in November to approve a combined 8.92-mill operating levy and bond issue.

The school board June 28 voted unanimously to place a 3.75-mill operating levy on the Nov. 7 ballot that would generate approximately $6.3 million in additional annual revenue for day-to-day operations, such as teacher salaries, instructional and pupil support, technology and transportation.

Additionally, the board approved placing a 5.17-mill bond issue on that ballot, which, if approved, would be collected over 38 years and generate about $230 million.

The bond money, plus a targeted minimum of $5 million in private donations, would fund reconstruction of the high school and its athletics facilities and renovations or reconstructions of each of the district's five elementary schools.

The board’s action is the culmination of two years of community outreach and planning, as district leaders seek to bring sweeping upgrades to its school buildings, which average more than 63 years in age.

“The community-driven facilities master planning process has brought together thousands of residents to determine the best path forward for our schools, our students and our community,” board President Robin Comfort said. “We are excited to move forward with this ballot issue to put our community’s master plan into action.”

If approved, the combined levy-bond package would increase overall property taxes by 14 percent, based on current tax rates.

It would result in an increase of $312 per $100,000 of home valuation annually, as determined by the county auditor. The owner of a $400,000 home would pay an additional $1,249 in property taxes each year, according to the district.

In approving the ballot package, the board accepted recommendations for the size and scope made by Superintendent Paul Imhoff, district treasurer Andrew Geistfeld and a volunteer financial advisory board, which comprised 10 private-sector executives and professionals with experience in funding large-scale public projects.

Under that plan, the board decided to delay seeking an estimated $53.2 million in funding for repairs to the district’s two middle schools and Burbank Early Childhood School for 10 years.

Read the full story in the July 6 edition of ThisWeek Upper Arlington News.

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