Columbiana Schools consider what to do if bond issue is rejected

COLUMBIANA – While hoping for the passage of the $4 million bond issue this May, the city school district is looking at what to do if it is rejected a second time.

The district is seeking the bond to pay for upgrades at South Side Middle School, most notably, the replacement of the decades-old roof.

Superintendent Don Mook said that if rejected, the district is looking at replacing the roof in phases using general fund money.

By doing that, fifth and sixth grade students would be moved to Joshua Dixon Elementary School during the 2013-14 school year and seventh and eighth grade would be moved to the high school at a later time when the remainder of the roof could be repaired.

The consequence would be crowded classrooms and a loss of open enrollment revenue since the schools wouldn’t be able to take on more students, he said.

Using general fund money on the roof takes money away from the district’s daily operations, which would likely result in the reduction of class sizes and staff, he added.

“It would be shifting staff, classified personnel, most likely downsizing some of our staff. We have to start making considerations based on the dollars we have available to us,” he said.

Other options being considered are repairing the entire roof at one time using general funds or temporarily repairing the roof while maintaining students at current grade levels.

He said the option he would most recommend is repairing the roof in phases. The bond issue will appear on the May 7 ballot and if passed will cost the owner of a $50,000 home $18.83 a year.