SALEM, Ohio (WKBN) – Salem City Schools have one more chance to pass a new levy for a new school building. This one would be in the November election.

Only a little over 200 votes separated it in Tuesday’s election. Salem Schools Superintendent Sean Kirkland watched the votes roll in. With a little bit over a 200-vote spread and only a 17 percent turnout rate, the focus changed to the November Election.

“Getting more registered voters out there to vote I certainly think that would help this initiative,” Kirkland said.

The plan is to combine Buckeye, Reilly and Southeast Elementary schools with the middle school into a new building. It would be built on a plot of land near Southeast.

Kirkland says after the results came in Tuesday, it was disappointing.

“That’s kind of the first feeling I had, and you’re just kind of pulling for the kids because you think they deserve better. You’re disappointed for the community because you think they deserve better,” Kirkland said.

This time around, Kirkland says they’re working on the message they are going to send out to the community. People have been reaching out to him to try and help before November, but he says it’s going to be an uphill battle.

“Inflation is up by 9%. We’ve had reassessed property values that are up. We’ve had our water rates doubled, nearly tripled in the community,” Kirkland said.

Kirkland does admit it’s early in the process to figure out what message to send. He says the buildings they are working in are way older than nearby communities.

A grant that has already been approved would have the state paying two-thirds of the cost of construction for the new facility.

“Just two years ago, this initiative would be about $10 million local share. In two years, it’s $19 million, so where are we going to be in two years,” Kirkland said. “These buildings, at some point, if it doesn’t happen now, they’re going to have to be replaced.”