(Posted Dec. 21, 2022)
By Kristy Zurbrick, Madison Editor
The Madison-Plains school board has passed legislation to place a $63 million bond issue on the May 2, 2023, ballot for construction of one new building on the existing campus to serve all of the district’s students.
The decision to move forward with the bond issue request came at the board’s Dec. 20 meeting. The board voted 4-0 on legislation required to place an issue on the ballot. Board member Mark Mason was absent. Issues for the may election must be filed with the Madison County Board of Elections by Jan. 2.
The board gave Todd Mustain, district treasurer, the go-ahead to certify the maximum maturity of the bonds. He certified the life of the proposed building at 40 years and the contents and equipment at no less than 10 years. He certified the maturity of the bonds to 37 years. The board then approved legislation that allows them to place the bond issue on the ballot.
Prior to the votes, the board heard from representatives of the Madison-Plains facility advisory committee. The group of 50 to 70 community members has met seven times since Aug. 1 to study the facility needs of the district and come up with a recommendation for addressing those needs. They also gathered input from the public at two community meetings.
Committee member Todd Fisher informed the board that the group recommends new construction instead of renovation. This would involve demolishing the existing buildings and constructing one new building at the same location. The current campus, located at Linson Road and State Route 38, is the only property the district owns and is located in the geographic center of the district, he said.
The total cost of the project would be an estimated $68.6 million. If passed, the bond issue would cover $63 million of that cost. Through an agreement with the Ohio Facilities Construction Commission, the state would cover the other $5.6 million.
The committee wanted to keep the financial impact of the project under 10 mills. The group’s proposal does that, Fisher said, with the impact being approximately 9.6 mills. Currently, Madison-Plains is one of the lower taxing school districts in the area. While that would change with passage of the bond issue, Madison-Plains would not be the highest taxing district in the area, Fisher said.
Superintendent Chad Eisler noted that the legislation to place the bond issue on the ballot does not set details about design or location of the building. It does prohibit the district from using bond funds to purchase property for the project. If the board decided they wanted to purchase property, he said, they could but would have to use other funding sources. The board also could accept donation of property, he added.