Levy to replace old Mathews school buildings fails

VIENNA, Ohio (WYTV) – Voters in the Mathews School District rejected a 7.45 mill levy to cover a new K-12 building by just under 52 percent of the vote, according to unofficial returns.

The new campus would have replaced the district’s old buildings, including the 100-year-old high school.

Superintendent Lew Lowery said the total cost for the new building would have been about $25 million. The Ohio School Facilities Commission would have covered about $4 million of the cost.

He said the bond would have been over 37 years and that someone with a $100,000 home would have paid $5.34 a week.

Taxpayers who were against the levy want to find alternatives to building a new school. They say the bond would have increased land taxes for farmers.

Supporters of the levy argued that the current buildings are beyond repair and that putting more money into fixing them is a waste.

Four years ago, voters turned down a bond issue by just a few hundred votes and supporters say the buildings have only gotten worse since then.

Septic backup issues at Currie Elementary forced students to evacuate twice in September in the middle of the school day. The principal said both backups were a result of many students using the restroom at lunch.

Currie also has high arsenic levels in the drinking water, so the water fountains are shut off.

The buildings don’t have security, sprinkler systems or up-to-date technology, and are not handicap-accessible.

The new building would have been built on the Prestwick Golf Course. It would have taken about three years to build.

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