Election 2020: Pickerington Schools bond, Violet Township road levy on Nov. 3 ballot

Nate Ellis
ThisWeek group
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Voters will decide the fates of a Pickerington Schools bond issue and a roads and bridges levy for Violet Township on Tuesday, Nov. 3. 

The 2.9-mill bond issue for Pickerington Schools would fund construction of a new junior high school as well as other upgrades to existing buildings and athletics facilities. 

If passed, the bond would generate $95 million, plus interest, that would pay for the construction debt over a 38-year period.     

According to the district treasurer’s office, the bond would cost approximately $101.52 per year for every $100,000 of property valuation.    

Ed Laramie of the Fairfield County Auditor’s Office said based on the current total valuation in the school district – which is a little more than $1.5 billion – preliminary estimates show the issue is expected to generate about $4.4 million annually.    

According to district officials, the bond issue would enable the district to borrow money to build a new junior high school that would serve up to 1,100 students. It would be built on 66 acres, known as the McGill property, the district owns on Lockville Road south of Opportunity Way.    

The project is a centerpiece of district plans to address projected enrollment growth and includes construction of a new stadium on the property for Pickerington High School Central.     

The plan includes converting Ridgeview STEM into a building that would serve students in grades K-4 who attend Heritage Elementary School, fifth- and sixth-grade students and students from the district’s Gateway Academy, a gifted-education program for students with superior cognitive skills.   

Heritage would be converted into the permanent home of the district’s preschool program. It also would house the District Welcome Center, an office that processes students who are enrolling.   

Additionally, the plan calls for Central to be expanded to add 24 classrooms, renovation of the school’s main entry for better security and an expanded cafeteria.   

Pickerington High School North would see additional classrooms and construction of a more secure main entry.    

If the bond is passed, district officials have said the new junior high would likely be opened by fall 2023.     

Upgrades to other buildings could begin as soon as 2021.  

Violet Township 

The 1.5-mill Violet Township roads and bridges renewal levy would replace a five-year levy passed in March 2016 that, according to township officials, generates approximately $770,000 in property-tax revenue each year to pave and maintain the township’s roughly 108 miles of roadway. 

The five-year renewal levy would go into effect in January 2022. 

According to the Fairfield County Auditor’s Office, the levy's effective rate is about 1.2 mills and would continue to cost residents about $42 annually per $100,000 of property value.  

Although Election Day is Nov. 3, overseas and military absentee voting began Sept. 18 and early in-person and mail-in absentee voting began Oct. 6, according to the Ohio Secretary of State's Office voting schedule.

nellis@thisweeknews.com 

@ThisWeekNate