It's official.

The South-Western City School District Board of Education voted unanimously July 9 to place a 1.86-mill bond issue on the Nov. 6 ballot.

The action followed the board's vote June 11, declaring the necessity of the bond issue. According to the resolution, the bonds would be issued in the amount of $93,400,000; would be dated approximately Dec. 1; would bear interest at the estimated rate of 5.50 percent per annum; and would be paid over a period not to exceed 38 years.

If approved, the bond issue would provide the district's share of the cost of the second phase of South-Western's Ohio Facilities Construction Commission project.

The second phase would include construction of four new buildings for the district's four oldest middle schools -- Brookpark, Finland, Norton and Pleasant View. It also would include renovation of Jackson Middle School and East Franklin Elementary School.

Roofing and asphalt projects would also be completed at various school sites.

The total projected cost of the OFCC project, including the school construction and asphalt and roofing work, is about $163 million, Superintendent Bill Wise said previously.

Due to the retirement of existing bond debt at the end of this year, the cost of the proposed bond issue would be offset. The amount the new issue would cost would be the same as what the district has been collecting under another for capital improvements, Treasurer Hugh Garside said.

Property owners would pay about $70 per $100,000 valuation of home each year for this issue, Garside said, the same amount that has been paid under the debt to expire this year.

The ballot language sets a 38-year term for the bond issue, "but we've never done a 38-year bond issue, and this one likely wouldn't last that long," he said.

"We wanted to put in the maximum possible length to be safe," Garside said.

Under the provisions of the OFCC, the state will pay about half of the core costs of the facilities project and the bond issue would cover the other half of the cost that would be paid by South-Western, he said.

"That's a great benefit for our residents, that the state is covering half of the cost," he said.

The state would not contribute any money toward the cost of the roofing and asphalt work.

Upgrading the older middle schools "is a true necessity," board President Lee Schreiner said.

The project would allow the district to bring its middle schools up to the standard for school buildings set by the first phase, he said.

The first phase included construction of 13 new elementary school buildings, renovation to two others and construction of a new Franklin Heights High School.

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