Harrison Chamber Hosts School Bond Issue Forum Thursday
By Mike Perleberg
Evidence of cramped conditions as enrollment grows: a teacher instructs students in a hallway at a Southwest Local Schools building. Photo via SHP Leading Design.
(Harrison, Oh.) – This November, Southwest Local School District voters will answer for the third time whether they want to raise their property taxes in order to build new schools and renovate others.
Southwest Local Schools are pursuing another ballot issue after two prior attempts at the ballot box failed in 2016 and 2015.
The Greater Harrison Chamber of Commerce will host a community forum on Thursday, September 14 at 7:00 p.m. School administrators, teachers, parents, and citizens on both sides of the issue will present their arguments at the Harrison High School Activity Center. The event is free to attend.
If Issue 25 passes this fall, it would allow for three new elementary schools and a new middle school to be built, as well as renovations to William Henry Harrison High School.
However, the 6.99 mill property tax increase would mean an extra $244 in taxes each year on a home in the district with an assessed valued at $100,000, or an extra $610 per year on a $250,000 home. The additional tax revenue over the next 38 years would fund the $71.7 million school facilities project, with the State of Ohio paying about a third, or $26.6 million, of the total cost.
The district is experiencing rapid enrollment growth. With 385 students added since July 1, 2016, there are now more than 4,000 children enrolled district-wide. With space at a premium, the school district is now leasing modular classrooms to house some classes.
Southwest Local Schools held three of its own town hall meetings earlier this year to explain the tax implications of the bond issue.
You can find more information about the Southwest Local School District bond issue at http://www.southwestschools.org/apps/pages/index.jsp?uREC_ID=691029&type=d&pREC_ID=1273663.