Pickerington Local School District officials say a 3-mill levy on the May primary election ballot would help fund $22.7 million in building and equipment needs, as well as upgrades to athletic facilities and playgrounds.

On May 2, voters will cast ballots on the improvement levy issue designed to establish a revenue stream for maintenance of current facilities, technology infrastructure, safety and security improvements and upgrades to district athletics facilities.

If passed, the levy would generate about $3.6 million each year for the district, according to the district treasurer's office. It would cost homeowners $105 annually per $100,000 of home valuation as determined by the county auditor.

Specific projects and their timelines will be announced if the levy is approved, but district officials have identified a number of needs at buildings throughout the district, as well as athletic facilities.

Superintendent Valerie Browning-Thompson said the levy would create a funding source enabling planning to begin for maintenance and needed infrastructure.

It would free up from the district's general fund an average of approximately $1 million annually that has been spent in each of the previous four years from its general fund for permanent improvement projects.

Money in the general fund is typically used to pay employee salaries and for items such as student transportation, instructional support and day-to-day building operations.

"The (permanent improvements) levy would provide an ongoing stream of earmarked revenue that would allow the district to more effectively plan and manage an ongoing capital program," Browning-Thompson said.

"Such planning is critical in protecting the investments our community already has generously provided to the district in terms of buildings and facilities."

District Public Relations Director David Ball said ongoing capital projects needs in the next 10 to 15 years include:

* Paving -- $8 million.

* Roofing -- $3.25 million.

* Mechanical systems -- $7.8 million.

* Painting and carpet -- $1.1 million.

* Safety and security -- $860,000.

* Technology infrastructure -- $1.7 million.

"Each of these figures would be spread out over the next decade to 15 years," Ball said.

"To put these numbers into perspective, we have 442 acres of property, 2.57 million square feet of pavement and 1.65 million square feet of building space to maintain."

Ball said the levy also would pay for some specific new construction projects, including:

* New stadium with artificial turf and an eight-lane track at Pickerington High School Central.

* Artificial turf and other improvements at Pickerington High School North stadium.

* Press box, lighting and other upgrades to auxiliary fields at North.

* Competition baseball facilities at Central.

* A softball hub at North.

* Work on multipurpose fields at both high schools.

* Upgraded tennis courts at Lakeview Junior High.

* Playground maintenance throughout the district.

"Many of these projects have been requested by the community for many years," Ball said.

He said the district owns land near Central that's being planned for a new football stadium, and funds from the levy could be used at some point for that project.

"At this time, we do not have detailed designs, exact cost estimates or a concrete timeline for these improvements," Ball said.

"We currently are going through the standard processes involved with seeking a qualified architectural firm to assist with design and planning.

"More detailed plans and a timeline will follow after a firm is selected," Ball said.