I am a lifelong Upper Arlington resident, now raising my children here. I support Issue 43, the operating levy and bond issue allowing for construction of a new high school and renovations or rebuilds of the elementary schools.
Our schools are over 60 years old. Their internal systems are failing. Without these changes, our district must spend millions on trailers to support the growing number of students and to keep schools dry and safe. They'll have to reduce teaching staff -- increasing class sizes -- and cut valuable programming, all things that make UA a leading district. To maintain the current standard of education, there is not a cheaper option.
Compared with similar schools and given the variations in construction costs, soft costs, inflation, etc., the numbers are comparable. Further, these numbers have been generated through an independent professional construction estimator and an independent design company, neither of which gain anything by the passage of Issue 43.
The district's volunteer financial advisory committee has vetted every aspect of the master plan and is comprised of top professionals from our community who also gain nothing but provide valuable insight into what is most financially wise, high-quality, long-lasting, future-oriented buildings for our district.
Ohio schools rely on property taxes, and other districts will seek levies for their own aging buildings. We'll fall back to the middle soon. There's no plan for a less-expensive levy if this one fails.
A future levy could ask for more money as costs increase. In the meantime, there would be significant cutbacks to the quality of education our students enjoy and which benefits the community in innumerable ways, not the least of which is in our property values. Please vote "yes."