By Jeff Gallatin
School district officials are hoping more than just flowers start growing in the spring.
After Bay Village voters during the Nov. 6 election solidly approved Issue 105, a $16.9 million bond levy designed to make improvements to school district buildings, Superintendent Clint Keener said the district hopes to get as early a start as possible on what is expected to be several years’ work.
“We’d like to get proposals for bids out fairly quickly, get them back and then get whatever preparations and preliminary work started in March and the spring,” he said. “Realistically, it’s going to take several years to get all of this done, but we’re glad to know we have to get this started.”
With voters approving the proposal by a margin of about 60 to 40 percent, Keener and school board members expressed thanks for the strong support.
“We’re in a community that values our school district and is willing to support it,” he said. “We believe our message was a good one, and we will be a good caretaker for the facilities we have.”
Senior board members Bill Selong and Amy Huntley both were pleased.
“We appreciate the community getting behind us, learning about what we’re planning to do and then supporting it,” Selong said.
“It’s great that the margin of victory in the last several operating and improvement levies has increased each time,” Huntley said.
With improvements planned for six buildings, and major HVAC (heating, ventilation and air conditioning), electrical and technology upgrades being a large portion of the work, other board members said the community understood that the levy bond proposal will make the district’s buildings last longer and run more efficiently.
“I think people saw that we had presented them with a good package which will benefit the students, the district and the community,” board member Bob Piccirilli said. “These will allow our buildings to last many years longer.”
In addition to the other improvements, the levy will also help fund construction of four new classrooms at Normandy School and a multimedia center and library at Westerly School.
“We’ve got a lot of work to do,” board President Gayatry Jacob-Mosier said. “There’s a lot we need to do, and this will help keep us moving forward.”
Keener noted that most of the district’s buildings were built in the 1950s and 1960s, so the various upgrades are sorely needed.
“These will bring us more into line with current needs,” he said. “Some of the work will have to be done in the summer, but we’ll keep working on all of it.”
The levy is projected to cost a homeowner about $60 annually for every $100,000 of home valuation.