Garrison to address Beallsville school funding

Jennifer Garrison, state representative and majority leader of the 93rd district, and Michael Shoemaker, executive director of Ohio School Facilities Commission, are explaining the opportunity of building at a reduced cost to area residents at 11 a.m., Feb. 9, at Beallsville High School in Beallsville, Ohio.

Superintendent Larry Elliot and respected area educators and coaches, Rita Walters, Jay Circosta, Mike Flannery and Dave Caldwell, will explain their view on the state of Switzerland of Ohio Local School District's schools.

The local share of building new schools has been reduced from 55 percent to 37 percent. The Ohio School Facilities Commission will pay 63 percent of the total project cost. The reduction is due to legislation backed by Representative Garrison. In order to benefit from the opportunity, voters will have one chance to take advantage of the reduction. The Ohio School Facilities Commission has only obliged monies until June 2009, thus creating a one-time window of opportunity.

All buildings, expect for the Swiss Hills Career Center, have a condition rating from the school facilities commission suggesting replacement. New and renovated buildings will provide for improved instructional spaces for students. New facilities will also be built using "green building" requirements, thereby reducing operating costs.

Increased property values will be a result of the new infrastructure of quality schools in many of our communities. These communities will positively be impacted through job creation that comes with the construction of the new buildings, as well as related services.

Voters will be asked to go to the polls May 5, to pass a tax levy of 8.19 mills. This amounts to $00.819 for each $100 of assessed tax valuation. Assessed tax value is calculated as 35 percent of a home's tax valuation. This levy will be used to build and replace Beallsville Elementary School, Beallsville High School, Woodsfield Elementary School, Skyvue Elementary, Monroe Central High School, Powhatan Elementary, combine and replace Sardis and Hannibal Elementary Schools, and renovate River High School. The total return for the District will be a building project costing more than $86 million, however, with this one-time opportunity, the District will pay less than half the estimated cost.