SALEM, Ohio (WKBN) – After failing back in May, it’s the last chance for Salem City Schools to pass a levy issue this November.
The money would be used for a new elementary and middle school facility, with the chance to get some extra funding from the state and non-profits.
Though the Salem City Schools levy failed the first time around, Superintendent Sean Kirkland says there’s new financial support that could change things this November, after low voter turnout back in May.
“This makes it significantly less expensive for folks. We believe that, coupled with low voter turnout, gives us a much better chance to pass it this time around,” Kirkland said.
The levy is for $22.5 million or 3.48 mills over 37 years. But $37 million in state funding plus a donation means the community won’t pay that whole cost.
“In addition to that, the Salem Community Foundation has donated $20 million toward the project,” Kirkland said.
That combined funding means homeowners will pay just under $9 million, costing the average homeowner in Salem just over $96 a year to get over 1,000 students out of decades-old building.
“Our elementary buildings are old, really is going on 96 years,” Kirkland said.
Kirkland added that the idea is to stop using the city’s three elementary schools –Reilly, Buckeye and Southeast — and instead build a new facility that would house students through 8th grade. The new building would have better parking and security and wouldn’t have the issues the aging buildings have right now.
“Just from simple roofing issues to plumbing issues that aren’t so simple to fix. A lot of issues within those older buildings that we are dealing with on a regular basis,” Kirkland said.
The new building would also have a kitchen, something none of the elementary schools have right now.
The new facility would be built on a plot of land near Southeast Elementary.