RICHMOND - The Edison Local School District is scrambling to get back on the ballot for the Nov. 6 election.
The proposed issue will not be the same as the 9.45-mill continuous operating levy that voters declined during the March 6 election, however, but one that will aim to build the district a new high school building.
Superintendent David Quattrochi said he submitted an application to the Ohio School Facilities Commission's Exceptional Needs Program last fall. The program is designed to identify the facilities in most need of replacement from among the eligible applicants. And two weeks ago Quattrochi said the district was notified it was approved and ranks second among several school districts that applied for the program.
The state would give the Edison school district the $7 million provided the needed local share of $20 million is raised within one year of being approved, said Quattrochi. The overall cost of the new high school project would be an estimated $27 million.
Quattrochi said that while a new provision could allow them to get on the ballot for the August special election, with all that has to be put in order, a return in November is most likely.
"Due to time constraints and all of the procedures that have to be followed, such as the design of the building to soil sampling, it looks like we'll be back on (the ballot) in November," said Quattrochi.
He said the required millage for the local share would be an estimated 3.5 to 4 mills.
But even with the proposal, the district still is facing the financial problems the 9.45-mill levy was meant to address, and now the district will be enacting its budget recovery plan for next school year that will save the needed $1.5 million to operate out of deficit.
That plan includes cuts to certified and classified salaries and wages, transportation cuts, changes to extracurricular activities, such as pay to participate, and consumable supplies and book fees.
Quattrochi said that while it will increase the millage, the district is leaning toward combining the issues into one levy for the November election.
He said that with the issues combined, the district may be looking to pass a 11.9- to 13-mill levy.
What can't be argued, he said, is that the students need a new high school.
"The high school was built in 1939 and it's outdated. With a new building our children would be into a new facility and it would be up to date with 21st century technology. That's where education is moving. As you look to other districts with new facilities, we're in the same old building that has a ton of issues. The OSFC felt that there was enough issues with our high school to rank us second, and that means we need to go in this direction," said district administrative assistant Bill Beattie.
"I just think our students are long overdue for a 21st century facility. I think it would also help bring the communities together to have one building that is Edison High School. We offer a quality education and we want to bring that to our students, and our buildings right now, especially the high school, are antiquated. It just can't meet the need of new technology," said Quattrochi.