Like thousands of other Upper Arlington residents, we had the privilege of taking part in the Upper Arlington schools facilities master planning process.

Our specific roles were as members of the Financial Advisory Board, which gave all of us an opportunity to put our business expertise to use for our community. As members of the FAB, we considered different ways of phasing and funding the master plan.

After a lot of discussion, analysis, research and community feedback, we recommended what is now on the ballot as Issue 43. It is comprised of a 3.75-mill operating levy, the district's lowest request in more than 30 years, and a $230 million bond issue.

The bond issue would allow us to rebuild Upper Arlington High School with modern science labs, up-to-date learning spaces and a safety-conscious design. It also would allow the district to renovate or rebuild all five of the district's elementary schools.

We felt it was imperative to include the elementary schools in the first phase of the master plan because it will mean a lower overall cost to residents than if we delay the needed construction. In addition, because the UA school district is one of the fastest-growing in Ohio, delaying work on the elementary schools would mean spending a large amount of money on trailers for temporary classroom space.

Issue 43 is a practical solution to the needs of Upper Arlington's aging and outdated schools. The master plan was developed by fellow residents with the best interest of both our students and local property owners in mind.

Andrew Livingston

Upper Arlington