Voters to decide on school issue

In a matter of days city residents will decide on fulfilling or denying a request from the Columbiana School District for money for South Side Middle School.

The 1.23-mill bond issue on the May 7 election ballot is set to generate $4 million over 29 years through additional property taxes. The money is targeted for refurbishments at South Side, a 50-year-old building with a leaky roof.

School employees and board of education members have said the replacement of the flat roof is the first priority.

The building on Columbiana-Waterford Road houses just over 300 students in grades 5-8 and was targeted by the Ohio Schools Facilities Commission for demolition.

Superintendent Don Mook has said the demolition would cost significantly more than the refurbishments.

The new pitched roof alone was last estimated to cost around $1.3 million, not including contingencies that could occur along the way.

Other things needed at the school include upgrades to the heating, ventilation and air conditioning system, handicap accessibility, flooring replacement, repairing and updating of restrooms and the installation of lockers for fifth- and sixth-graders.

The school district will not spend any of the tax money on improvements to athletic facilities, and have even passed a resolution making that promise. Before any money would be spent on those facilities, the taxpayers will be asked for input first, according to the resolution.

If passed, the owner of a $100,000 home will pay an additional $37.67 a year. The owner of a $50,000 home will pay $18.83 a year.