Upper Arlington City Schools administrators and a financial advisory group have recommended that the district seek a combined 8.92-mill levy and bond issue in November to fund the first phase of facilities upgrades.

In March, a UA Schools Financial Advisory Board provided a preliminary recommendation to seek a 3.75-mill operating levy in November to pay for day-to-day operations and a 5.17-mill bond to fund upgrades and, in some cases, reconstructions of Upper Arlington High School and the district’s five elementary schools.

After two months of collecting public input on that plan, the FAB, Superintendent Paul Imhoff and district treasurer Andrew Geistfeld gave official recommendations to the school board May 9 to pursue the combined 8.92-mill levy and bond.

The board ultimately will determine how to proceed with the recommendation. Its decision is expected at a scheduled June 6 meeting.

According to Imhoff and Geistfeld, the 3.75-mill levy would generate an additional $6.3 million annually for day-to-day operations of the district. The 5.17-mill bond would be collected over 38 years and raise approximately $230 million for the first phase of upgrades to school facilities.

First-phase work would include renovations and possible reconstructions at the district’s five elementary schools, as well as the planned reconstruction of UAHS on Zollinger Road and a rebuild of the high school’s stadium and baseball and softball fields.

Under that proposal, the district and community volunteers also plan to seek a minimum of $5 million in donations to aid the capital projects.

The recommendations call for delaying construction at the district's middle schools and Burbank Early Childhood School until the second phase of the overall project, revisiting the funding and scope of that work in 10 years.

The combined 8.92-mill would cost Upper Arlington homeowners an additional $312.20 per $100,000 of home value, according to Geistfeld, who added that the combined bond issue and levy would cost the owner of a $400,000 home – about the median value in UA -- an additional $1,249 in property taxes each year.

Read the May 18 edition of ThisWeek Upper Arlington News for additional details.