Facilities Plan and Ballot Issue Information

Facilities Plan and Ballot Issue Information

FACILITIES PLAN & BALLOT REQUEST

As you may have heard, our Board of Education is placing a levy on the May 2018 ballot. The single ballot issue includes a 4.3-mills bond issue and 1.2-mills permanent improvement levy. We want to ensure that our community is as well informed as possible. Our Board of Education and administration have worked with our community and government entities over the past several years to present our community with a viable and fiscally responsible plan to address our district’s facility needs.

We have developed a long-term facilities master plan to address our aging school buildings, aging classroom trailers, lack of space, student safety, and facilities accessibility in an efficient and strategic manner.

We will be communicating more information in the coming weeks and months to keep you updated throughout the process. Below are some common questions and answers about our facilities plan and levy request.

 

Your Questions Answered: Facilities Master Planning and Ballot FAQs

Where are we and how did we get here? 

For nearly two decades, the BCLSD Board of Education and administration have worked with the Ohio Facilities Construction Commission (OFCC) to develop a facilities master plan. Facility plans can be amended to address the changes to enrollment and the educational needs of our students and school district. We needed to develop a long-term facilities master plan to address our aging school buildings, aging classroom trailers, lack of space, student safety, and facilities accessibility in an efficient and strategic manner. Over the last few years, we have reviewed our plans with the OFCC, and gathered community input, to address our immediate facility needs and present a fiscally sensitive plan to our community.

Currently, we have two elementary schools (K-2 and 3-4). Part of one school is approaching eighty years old and the other is approaching sixty years old. Both buildings are beyond capacity with an entire grade level (2nd grade) and multiple programs being housed in trailers. The current elementary buildings lack the appropriate space, 21st century resources, learning environment, safety features, accessibility for students/guests with special needs, adequate parking and gathering space for school events, and contribute to the inefficient use of district personnel, services, and resources.

In November of 2009, voters passed a request to build a new middle school. This building currently houses grades 5-8, leaving nine (9) grade levels of students, regardless of grade configurations, in need of safer and more appropriate facilities. In November of 2013, voters soundly rejected a 7.4 mills request to build a new PK-5 elementary school, additions to the existing middle school, renovations and additions to the existing high school, and an additional two (2.0) mills for a permanent improvement levy. This plan attempted to address all of our facility needs at one time and failed by 1,025 votes.

Because of the outcome of the November 2013 levy request, and community feedback, we reexamined our facilities options. Eight (8) different facilities configurations, including new construction and renovation options, have been carefully analyzed with the OFCC; third-party facility assessments and enrollment projections have been conducted as a standard part of the process.

In the late spring of 2016, we conducted a facilities survey in which we received over 750 responses from community members and staff. 82.13% of the respondents prioritized the need to address our elementary facilities. Respondents favored one elementary school be constructed near the center of our school district. Survey results also indicate the need and support for improving our high school facility. Opportunity for community input has taken place at numerous Board Planning Sessions and regularly scheduled Board of Education meetings. We engaged county officials and engineers, private engineers, architects, and local officials in the planning process.

In June of 2016, we contracted with a civil engineering firm to conduct a site feasibility study. Seven (7) different locations throughout the district were analyzed as possible locations including existing school campuses, vacant property owned by the district, and vacant property not owned by the district. The purpose was both to provide general information and identify possible flaws or impacts which would prohibit the site from further consideration. Site factors being considered included physical features, roadway factors, public utilities access, environmental/ecological impacts, and district operations efficiency with student transportation and staffing.

The feedback gathered throughout this process has shaped the master plan finalized by the Board of Education in November 2017.

What is our facilities master plan?

To address our facility needs, we have segmented the plan into two phases. Segmenting the projects allows us to:

  • Address our most pressing needs, a new elementary.
  • Presents our taxpayers with a fiscally sensitive and viable request to improve the safety and learning environment for our current students and future generations.
  • Minimizes the disruptions in both Phase I and II to students’ learning in our current facilities by not needing to relocate students during construction.
  • Saves taxpayers’ dollars by not needing to finance temporary trailers, pay utility hook-ups, or possibly house students in another district’s facility.
  • Provides for the efficient use of staffing, transportation routes, current athletic facilities and current district assets.


Facilities Master Plan - Phase I

  • Construct a new K-5 (1,000 student) elementary school.
  • Asbestos abatement & demolition of the existing Primary School, after completion of a new K-5 elementary school, so that the site may be used as a location for the construction of a new building in Phase II.
  • Replaces tennis courts for both community and school use, which were removed when the existing middle school was built.
  • Repurpose the 1960 wing of BCIS in Lithopolis for Bloom-Carroll preschool students.
    • We are required to provide early childhood educational services (ages 3-5) for special needs students living in our school district. Currently, we have two preschool classrooms – one at BCIS & one at BCPS – and send other BC preschool students to neighboring districts due to lack of space. At this time, we could house four full preschool classrooms in the 1960 wing of the Lithopolis facility. Additional benefits include:
      • Saves taxpayer money by not financing the asbestos abatement and demolition of the Lithopolis school building (OFCC estimated savings $356,000)
      • Saves taxpayer money by not adding additional cost to construct preschool classrooms and the square footage needed to accommodate preschool students at a new elementary school. (estimated savings $1,345,400)
      • Allows for future community use, partnerships and/or agreements with other agencies/municipalities for the use of other parts of the Lithopolis facility.


Facilities Master Plan - Phase II (separate levy request after Phase I has been completed)

  • Construct a new 6-8 middle school where the existing primary school and old junior high (demolished in 2013) was located along Beaver Street.
  • Convert the existing middle school into a high school.
    • Addition of a high school instrumental music facility.
    • Addition of a vocational agriculture facility.
    • Provide natural gas to science classrooms.
    • Renovate a current middle school lab into a family & consumer science lab.
  • Repurpose part of the existing high school for district office, high school vocal music, and athletics use.
    • Utilizes, with some renovations, the existing band room for the high school vocal music program.
    • Retains the current high school gymnasium for auxiliary athletic use. Possibilities include: wrestling, community use, completing athletic practices earlier, etc.
    • Retains the current high school cafeteria for Board meeting locations and multi-purpose use.
    • Retains the current high school office, and four classrooms (101, 102, 119, 120) for administrative offices (superintendent, treasurer, student services, technology, possibly transportation).
    • Asbestos abatement and demolition of the existing high school two-story section for additional visitor/staff/student parking.

What does the May 2018 ballot request include if passed?

The May levy request would fund phase I of our facilities master plan which includes:

  • Constructing a new K-5 (1,000 student) elementary school.
  • Asbestos abatement & demolition of the existing Primary School, after completion of a new K-5 elementary school, so that the site may be used as a location for the construction of a new building in Phase II.
  • Replaces tennis courts for both community and school use, which were removed when the existing middle school was built.
  • Repurpose the 1960 wing of BCIS in Lithopolis for Bloom-Carroll preschool students.
    • Allows for future community use, partnerships and/or agreements with other agencies/municipalities for the use of other parts of the Lithopolis facility.
  • Provides Permanent Improvement (PI) funds that may only be used to cover the specific costs for ongoing maintenance and capital improvement projects. Security equipment, bus purchases, facility maintenance needs (e.g. roof repair and replacement, boilers/heat-pumps, plumbing, electrical systems, floors, lockers, parking lot resurfacing), and technology infrastructure and equipment are all examples of areas earmarked for PI funds. PI funds cannot be used to pay for employees’ salaries or benefits. The BCLSD is the only school district in Fairfield County to have never passed a PI levy.

Is there a “do-nothing” option? If we wait, will our needs change and will it cost less?

No. Our facilities situation is not going to get any better without acting now. Failing to address the facilities needs of the district now will only cost more each year we wait. Inflation, cost of building materials, labor costs, and other construction related costs continue to increase. Regardless of the timing, we have nine grade levels of students that need better and safer facilities. Our elementary facilities are unacceptable. They are only going to become more unsafe, more overcrowded, and more inadequate each year. We have a viable long-term plan, with segmented phases and costs, to address our most critical need, an elementary school, and improve our high school learning environment in the near future. 

Why the Carroll-Eastern Road property as the location for a new elementary school?

  • We own it. The 53 acre property (two parcels: 40 acres & 13 acres) was purchased about twenty years ago. It is time we invest in this property for the future of our district. There is an enormous amount of space for future additions, greenspace, and the overall safety of our students. This property can provide the space needed now and for generations of BCLSD students.
  • Allows us to use our current facilities while a new elementary school is being built on Carroll-Eastern Road. Students would not be faced with additional disruptions to their learning or displacement for 2-3 years while construction takes place.
  • It is closest available land we own near the center of the school district. As a school district, we must do what is best for all students in our district in a cost effective manner. Community feedback desires one elementary school near the center of our district. Our resident students live the villages of Carroll and Lithopolis, as well as Bloom, southeast Violet, southwest Liberty, and Greenfield Townships. We must consider the physical location and the amount of time and distance it takes for all, just not one particular village or township, to access our schools. This is especially important for efficiency with the number of bus routes and the amount of time students spend on a bus route. We currently have students in our Intermediate School riding 55 minutes (due to bus stops) to reach their residence in the southeastern portion of our school district – that is with running separate and additional bus routes from the Intermediate School to reduce route times. Traveling in a car to the Intermediate School in Lithopolis from the northeast or southeast corners of our districts is approximately 12-14 miles and takes over 22 minutes. Below you will find the approximate distance, in a straight-line, of the Carroll-Eastern Road property to the referenced furthest points of our district, which demonstrate its central location:
    • Southeast corner of the BCLSD – 6 miles
    • Northeast corner of the BCLSD – 5 miles
    • Southwest corner of the BCLSD – 6 miles
    • Lithopolis (northwest corner) of the BCLSD – 6 miles
  • Building an elementary school on Carroll-Eastern Road and preserving the existing Carroll campus for the middle school and high school students is more cost effective. If we move middle or high school students off the Carroll campus to make space for an elementary school building we would need to provide athletic facilities for middle school or high school sports. The OFCC will not co-fund the construction of football fields, bleachers, stadium lighting, tracks, concessions, baseball or softball fields or even gyms and fixed seating auditoriums of the size we have now. Additional space or facilities constructed beyond the scope the OFCC will co-fund have to be done through Locally Funded Initiatives (LFIs). Over the past several years, we have invested taxpayer money by adding a turf football field, fixed seat auditorium, additional space to the middle school gymnasium and allowed the boosters to make improvements to Carl Fell Stadium by building a new concession stand and stadium entrance. Keeping our middle school and high school students on the existing Carroll campus saves taxpayer dollars by not constructing a new gym for high school use, fixed-seating auditoriums, and other athletic facilities.
  • The middle school and high school share several staff members. Nearly all 8th grade students receive instruction from a high school teacher for foreign language, vo-ag, family and consumer science, health/PE, band, and choir. Separating the middle school staff and students from the high school staff and students would contribute to inefficiency with personnel. Travel time between buildings would need to be built into the teacher workday, resulting in loss of instructional time. Mileage would need to be paid for additional traveling teachers between campuses. Or, additional staff would need to be hired to provide elective classes for 8th grade students if we do not share staff between buildings – a significant personnel cost increase. College-Credit Plus classes are also available to qualifying 7th and 8th grade students at the high school making the preservation of the Carroll campus for ms/hs students advantageous in regards to curriculum offerings as well.
  • The facilities master plan benefits transportation and bus crowding issues. Moving the 5th grade back to an elementary school means middle school and high school routes will only be transporting seven (7) grades as opposed to the eight (8) we currently transport on the middle/high school routes (grades 5-12). This will provide for needed additional space on middle/high school bus routes. The elementary routes have room to accommodate the increase of 5th grade students and is a more appropriate configuration.

Will utilities be accessible at the Carroll-Eastern Road property?

Fairfield County Utilities Engineers and private engineers, have determined that public water and sewer access is available.  The district has included cost for utility infrastructure improvements (water, sewer) in Phase I of the bond issue request.  Water and sanitary lines will need to be installed ½ mile from the site to the Village of Carroll or our existing campus.  Avoiding on-site wells and on-site waste water treatment facilities is highly recommended by the OFCC and local utilities officials.  Using on-site utilities can be done; however, doing so subjects the district to strict EPA and Department of Health testing requirements and other potential issues that can result in buildings being shut down temporarily.

Why don’t we build an elementary school on the current Carroll campus?

Space on our existing Carroll campus is very limited. Multiple playground spaces, safe bus loading/unloading areas, water detention basins, and adequate staff and visitor parking are all issues with the idea of a new elementary school on the Carroll campus. Based upon our current enrollment, and ten (10) year enrollment projections, this site does not allow for adequate space. The Board and administration wish to maintain as much of the John Watkins Arboretum as possible; its elimination to build a new school is not a direction we desire to pursue, further eliminating available acreage for development on the Carroll Campus.

Why don’t we build an elementary school on the current Lithopolis campus?

Building in Lithopolis at our current Intermediate School campus presents many of the same issues already addressed. The property is located in the far northwest corner of our school district – 23 minutes and 13 miles by car from the southeast corner of the school district. The property is divided by Market Street which is owned by Bloom Township and serves as an emergency access road to the Stoney Bluff housing development. The current Intermediate School sits in the Village of Lithopolis on  5 acres. The 2.25 acres owned by the district on the opposite side of Market Street, is not part of Village of Lithopolis. There is not enough acreage available on the Market Street properties to build a new school, parking, play space, water detention basin, and a bus turnaround while maintaining school operations. Students would need to be relocated for 2-3 years during demolition and construction of a new building. Taxpayer money would be spent on temporary classroom trailers along with utility hook-ups. Cafeteria and physical education spaces are needed and not adequately provided by using trailers. We would also need to determine a location for temporary trailers while also providing parking and bus drop-off/pick-up locations.

Why don’t we build an elementary school on Roller Field in Lithopolis?

The district owns 19 acres at Roller Field. For years, Bloom-Carroll Youth Athletic Association has utilized the location for youth athletic programs. While the school district is not necessarily in the youth recreational sports business, families and BC students have benefited for many years by being able to hold youth sporting events at this location. BCYA would be forced to find additional space. The location and distance from other parts of our school district present the same issues as the Market Street location. The 2016 site feasibility study, resulted in major flaws with this location due to traffic patterns and roadway conditions. The results suggested the district would need to conduct roadway improvements on Cedar Hill Road near the Lithopolis Cemetery and make intersection improvements in front of Faler Feed Store – both very costly to the district.

Why would the 5th graders move to an elementary school?

The current grade configuration of our middle school (5-8) presents many instructional, behavioral, social-emotional, and developmental issues. 5th graders, typically range in age from 10-11 years old, are better serviced in an elementary setting. Instructionally, standards, pacing, and resources are more in-line with elementary programming than middle school. Currently, we have PE and Music teachers that travel between three buildings (Primary, Intermediate, and Middle) to provide 5th graders with instruction. Moving 5th grade to an elementary would eliminate the time and costs associated with the teachers traveling. Traditional middle school years (grades 6-8) present social situations and discussion that 5th graders do not need to hear, both within school and on the bus. 5th graders need recess and playground space, something they currently do not have at the current facility. Moving them also helps to reduce bus crowding issues at the current middle and high schools and helps to balance route crowding. Moving 5th graders to a new elementary school contributes to Phase II of our facilities master plan. In doing so, this allows us in Phase II to build a new middle school for students in grades 6-8 and repurpose the existing middle school for a high school. The OFCC requires less square footage per student for younger grade configurations and the cost of construction per square foot cost less for younger grade configurations.

Why are we not building a new high school right now?

Our elementary facilities are in far worse condition and are beyond their capacity requiring the use of classroom trailers for entire grade levels and instructional programs; this also presents a safety issues for elementary students. The high school students are instructed in a building throughout the day and are not using trailers as our elementary students are. The high school has some space available - there are a two high school classrooms that could be converted from a fixed computer lab and another from the technology department to a traditional classroom. The second floor high school classrooms, first floor classrooms at the end of the east and west hallway, vo-ag classroom/shop and the art classrooms/ceramics shop were built in 1983 (35 years old). The combined cost to address both our elementary and high school facility needs at the same time costs substantially more upfront than segmenting our facility needs into two phases. Attempting to address both needs, elementary and high school, at the same time was soundly defeated by 1,025 votes at the ballot in November 2013. Segmenting the projects and costs, and not attempting to collect taxpayers’ money until we are ready to improve the high school learning environment, presents a viable and responsible plan to improve our facilities. We would also need to relocate students if both phases of our facilities master plan were constructed at the same time. Certainly there is a need to improve our high school environment; however, the elementary school needs are paramount.

Why not ask for both the elementary and high school at the same time?

In November of 2013, voters soundly rejected a 7.4 mills request to build a new PK-5 elementary school, additions to the existing middle school, renovations and additions to the existing high school, and an additional two (2.0) mills for permanent improvements. This plan attempted to address all of our facility needs at one time and failed by 1,025 votes - largely due to the cost. Segmenting the projects and costs, and not attempting to collect taxpayers’ money until we are ready to improve the high school learning environment, presents a viable and responsible plan to improve our facilities. We would also need to relocate students if both phases of our facilities master plan were constructed at the same time. Certainly there is a need to improve our high school environment; however, the elementary school needs are paramount.

Why would we build a new middle school (grades 6-8) in phase II?

Building high schools require more square footage per student and cost more per square foot to construct than younger grade configuration buildings. Building a 6-8 middle school costs less and requires less space than a 9-12 high school. The existing middle school can house our projected high school enrollment with an addition for band and vo-ag. We use the existing middle school gym and auditorium for all high school events and athletic facilities are already established with improvements continuously being made to them by the district and booster groups. The OFCC will not co-fund the construction of athletic facilities (football/soccer fields, tracks, concessions, bleachers, lighting, sound systems, baseball/softball fields), additional square footage to their standard gymnasiums or fixed-seat auditoriums. So making use of the facilities we have, and that the district has previously invested in, saves taxpayers’ dollars by not reconstructing these types of facilities.

What are the plans for the Lithopolis school building?

Repurpose the 1960 wing of BCIS in Lithopolis for Bloom-Carroll preschool students. We are required to provide early childhood educational services (ages 3-5) for special needs students living in our school district. Currently, we have two preschool classrooms – one at BCIS & one at BCPS – and send other BC preschool students to neighboring districts due to lack of space. At this time, we could house four full preschool classrooms in the 1960 wing of the Lithopolis facility. Additional benefits include:

  • Saves taxpayer money by not financing the asbestos abatement and demolition of the Lithopolis school building (OFCC estimated savings $356,000)
  • Saves taxpayer money by not adding additional cost to construct preschool classrooms and the square footage needed to accommodate preschool students at a new elementary school. (estimated savings $1,345,400)
  • Allows for future community use, partnerships and/or agreements with other agencies/municipalities for the use of other parts of the Lithopolis facility.

Have the new schools in either phase of the plan been designed yet?

No. If Bloom-Carroll voters approve the levy request on May 8, the district would immediately launch a design phase that would involve any and all community members, staff and students who wish to participate in the design of the elementary school building in the first phase of the master plan. This process can take up to one year. Residents living in the closest proximity to the buildings would also have the opportunity to participate throughout the design and construction process to gather feedback and input on the project. Since architectural firms cannot count on being paid until a ballot measure passes, no “blueprints” will be available. However, Amanda-Clearcreek, Liberty Union, Fairfield Union, Hamilton Township, Teays Valley, Lancaster, Canal Winchester, and Whitehall are local districts that have built new buildings working with the Ohio Facilities Construction Commission. Buildings for each district are uniquely designed with local community, staff, and student input. The buildings in the above mentioned districts do not represent what a BC elementary school would look like. They are referenced to simply provide an idea of what newly constructed buildings working with the OFCC look like. Please visit the following links to view projects completed in other districts.

Who conducted the enrollment projection report and how much is our enrollment projected to grow?

Anytime a school district notifies the OFCC that it would like to update its facilities plan or proceed with a segment of its facilities plan, the OFCC will update a district’s enrollment projection by contracting with a third-party firm, FutureThink. The report contains ten-year enrollment projections by analyzing the following data:

  • Live birth data
  • Historical enrollment
  • Community School enrollment
  • Open enrollment
  • Community demographics
  • Housing information

According to the OFCC third-party enrollment projection report, our 2026-2027 projected enrollment total is 2,112 students. That is an additional 188 students.

What is the OFCC?

The Ohio Facilities Construction Commission (OFCC) is responsible for guiding capital projects for state agencies, state-supported universities and community colleges, and Ohio’s comprehensive public K-12 school construction and renovation program. The Commission sets uniform rules, procedures and standardized documents for state construction under Chapter 153. The OFCC K-12 Schools Programs oversees the planning, development, and construction for the agency’s public K-12 school building initiative. Projects are funded through a number of programs, including:

  • Classroom Facilities Assistance Program (CFAP) - Established in 1997, CFAP is based on the assessed property valuation per student. That property wealth factor determines the state and local share of the facilities project and when a district becomes eligible to receive state funds. CFAP takes a comprehensive approach with local districts by addressing the entire facility needs of a district from kindergarten through 12th grade.
  • Expedited Local Partnership Program (ELPP) - ELPP is designed to give districts not yet participating in the CFAP the opportunity to move ahead with portions of their project. The program allows school districts to pass a resolution requesting to enter ELPP. The Commission then performs an assessment of the district's facilities and enters into an agreement with the district on a facilities master plan that covers the entire needs of the district. The district then chooses a "distinct portion" of their Master Plan to fund through local efforts. When the district's turn later arises in the Classroom Facilities Assistance Program, the money spent by the district on the distinct portion is credited against the local share of the entire Master Plan projects. We are currently considered to be an ELPP district.

How does the OFCC determine the State’s share and the district’s costs of construction projects?

A school district’s priority for state financial assistance from the OFCC is based on the district’s three-year average “adjusted valuation per pupil,” as calculated by the Department of Education. Under that calculation, the district’s taxable “valuation per pupil” is modified by a factor reflecting the income of the district’s taxpayers. (A district’s valuation is the total value of all property in the district as assessed for tax purposes.) All districts are annually ranked from lowest to highest averaged adjusted valuation per pupil and placed in percentiles. A district’s percentile ranking determines when the district will be served by CFAP. Also, for most districts, the portion of the basic project cost paid by the district is equal to its percentile ranking. For example, a district ranked in the 20th percentile would pay 20% of the cost and the state would pay the remaining 80%. For some districts, the district portion of the project cost is calculated under an alternative formula based on the district’s existing permanent improvement debt. In this alternative formulation, relative wealth is also a factor. The OFCC is required by law to use the higher of the two calculation methods for the district’s local share. The Bloom-Carroll Local School District assessed property valuation per student ranks 491st out of 610 school districts. We are currently in the OFCC Expedited Local Partnership Program (ELPP).

http://ofcc.ohio.gov/Portals/0/Documents/Resources/Ranking%20Lists/2018/FY%202018%20District%20Eligibility%20List%20by%20Rank.pdf

What is our local share construction cost percentage and what is the state’s construction cost percentage for our projects?

Our district’s share of the construction costs is 82% and the state’s share is 18%.  Because we have been an ELPP district, we have built credit with the OFCC by proceeding locally to fund portions of our facilities plan with the construction of our current 5-8 middle school and the potential approval by voters to construct the K-5 elementary (phase I).  It is possible that our district will be a CFAP district by the time we are ready to complete phase II.  This means we will then be eligible to receive the credit earned as an ELPP district, plus the state’s share for phase II - making the final phase of our facilities project the least expensive to our community out of all of our facilities plan construction projects.

What are Locally Funded Initiatives (LFIs)?

A school district may choose to add to the scope of a classroom facilities project beyond the OFCC’s guidelines and separately fund a scope of work (“Local Initiative”).  A Local Initiative will fall into one of four categories:

  • Additional square footage in a new facility or addition.
  • Improvements associated with a renovation project beyond the scope of work funded by the OFCC.
  • Material or scope upgrade, such as adding additional casework to a classroom, seating in a gym, or a special feature of the facility or need for the site.
  • The OFCC may designate a material, system or design feature as a Locally Funded Initiative when the estimated cost of a project at the completion of a design phase exceeds the approved budget for the project, in situations where an alternative design manual compliant material, system or design feature would reduce the amount of the budget overrun.

The LFIs in Phase I of our facilities master plan include increasing the capacity of the elementary school to house 5th grade students, utilities costs, soil stabilizations, and replacing the tennis court torn out during construction of the existing middle school

How much will Phase I cost a BCLSD homeowner per year?

A 4.3-mills bond issue and a 1.2-mills permanent improvement levy would cost approximately an additional $192.50 per year in property taxes per $100,000 in appraised home valuation as determined by the Fairfield County auditor – that is 53 cents per day per $100,000 of appraised property value.

It is important to note that the appraised home valuation is NOT what you think your house would sell for (market value) — it is an amount determined by the auditor and published on your property listing on the auditor’s website.

To calculate your costs follow these steps:

  • Step 1: Go to the Fairfield County Auditor’s Website http://realestate.co.fairfield.oh.us/
  • Step 2: Select “Search.”
  • Step 3: Complete the search by parcel, owner, or address
  • Step 4: Select your property
  • Step 5: Find your “Taxable Value” (taxable value is 35% of your appraised value)
  • Step 6: Complete the formula. Example using $100,000 of appraised property value.
    (Taxable Value x .001) (5.5 total mills) = cost per year
    ($35,000 x .001) (5.5) = $192.50 per year


May 2018 - Phase I - 4.3-mills Bond Issue & 1.2-mills Permanent Improvement Levy Request
Auditor Appraised Home Value Homeowner Costs Per Year
$100,000 $192.50
$150,000 $288.75
$200,000 $385.00
$250,000 $481.25
$300,000 $577.50
$350,000 $673.75
$400,000 $770.00

What is a “mill?”

Local tax rates against property are always computed in mills. A mill is defined as one-tenth of a percent or one-tenth of one cent (0.1¢) in cash terms.

What is a Permanent Improvement (PI) levy and why do we need one?

By state law, Permanent Improvement funds may only be used to cover the specific costs for ongoing maintenance and capital improvement projects with an estimated lifespan or usefulness of five years or more. Security equipment, bus purchases, facility maintenance needs (e.g. roof repair and replacement, boilers/heat-pumps, plumbing, electrical systems, floors, lockers, parking lot resurfacing), and technology infrastructure and equipment are all examples of areas earmarked for PI funds. PI funds cannot be used to pay for employees’ salaries or benefits. Like homeowners with unforeseeable emergencies such as automobile repairs or heating malfunctions, the BCLSD faces expected and unexpected costs associated with maintaining and upgrading facilities and equipment. Having funds available to maintain our existing facilities, future facilities, and equipment is critical to the life-expectancy of these items and the investment made by our community. The BCLSD is the only district in Fairfield County to have never passed a PI levy. As our district’s operating costs continue to increase due to inflation, we will be forced to reduce the amount of funds allocated for capital improvement and maintenance from our general fund. Or, we will be forced to reduce funding for services and educational programs to finance maintenance projects. Ensuring we have the sufficient revenue that may only be used to maintain our potentially new and existing facilities is critical to maintain an acceptable level of educational programming.

How much revenue will the 1.2-mills PI levy request generate for our district?

The permanent improvement levy will generate $446,000 annually for the school district and will first be due in calendar year 2019 for a continuing period of time.

Why is the bond issue and the permanent improvement (PI) levy combined and why is it a property tax?

As our district’s operating costs continue to increase due to inflation, we will be forced to reduce the amount of funds allocated for capital improvement and maintenance from our general fund. Or, we will be forced to reduce funding for services and educational programs to finance maintenance projects. Ensuring we have the sufficient revenue that may only be used to maintain our potentially new and existing facilities is critical to protect our community’s investment in our facilities and to maintain an acceptable level of educational programming.

In Ohio, a ballot measure is required in order to issue new bonds for new construction. A bond levy must be a property tax. PI levies may be either a property tax or a school district income tax. According to Ohio law, any income tax increase must be done so in ¼ % minimum increments. Structuring a levy this way would have collected more tax revenue from taxpayers than what was needed to meet the OFCC ½-mill maintenance requirement and provide the revenue needed for the routine and preventative maintenance of our facilities and equipment. Generally speaking, structuring the levy as a property tax costs less for a resident property owner when compared to structuring the levy as a property and income tax. Both a bond issue and PI levy are fixed dollar amount levies. As property values increase, schools do not collect additional revenue on these levies beyond the amount originally approved by voters because of the fixed dollar amount, with the exception of new construction (assuming the construction is not abated). The millage rate is rolled back every three years when property is reappraised (assuming property values increase) for inflationary increases so that we do not collect more than what was originally passed by voters.

What are the next steps?

After the successful passage of the combined bond issue and permanent improvement levy on May 8, 2018, the district would immediately begin a design phase. After the design phase concludes, construction would begin and tentatively would follow this estimated project timeline:

  • Summer 2018-Spring 2019: Design phase of the K-5 Bloom-Carroll Elementary involving students, staff, parents, and any community member who wish to participate.
  • Late summer 2019: Construction begins to build the new K-5 elementary school (Phase I).
  • Fall 2021: The new Bloom-Carroll Elementary School would open to students in grades K-5.
  • Fall 2021: Bloom-Carroll Primary School, located on Beaver Street, would undergo asbestos abatement and demolition to make space for Phase II construction.
  • Fall 2021-2022: Determine timeline to return to ballot to complete the final phase of our facilities master plan (phase II).

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