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LUCAS — Voters in the Lucas school district have rejected a ballot measure to fund a new K-12 facility.
Just over half (50.76 percent) of voters said no to a 10-mill, 37-year bond issue, according to final, unofficial vote totals from the Richland County Board of Elections and Ashland County Board of Elections. (The district has residents in both counties).
According to the combined tallies, the final, unofficial vote total was 815 in favor and 840 against.
Lucas Supt. Brad Herman said he appreciated the voter turnout — 67.9 percent of school district residents in Richland County showed up at the ballot box.
“Elections always provide good feedback,” he said.
If passed, the bond would have raised approximately $29.6 million to construct a new K-12 facility for the district’s 406 students. It would have cost property owners $350 per $100,000 of appraised value and began in 2024.
District leaders have said maintaining the district’s aging facilities will cost more than building a new facility, after factoring in funding from the Ohio Facilities Construction Commission.
According to Herman, Lucas High School was built in 1918, with additions in 1938 and 1958. The elementary school was built in 1956 and renovated in 1963. The middle school was constructed in 1979.
Herman declined to predict if the district will go back on the ballot, either for funding to build new facilities or maintain the current ones.
“We still have long-term facility needs that we need to address,” he said. “That’ll be a conversation the board (of education) needs to have to find out what that next step is.”
Lucas also had a contested school board race on the ballot, with two seats up for grabs.
Roger Maglott, an outspoken critic of the bond issue, retained his seat with a total of 789 votes, according to final, unofficial vote totals from Richland and Ashland counties.
Rick Foss, who also voiced opposition to the facilities bond, won the other seat with 847 votes, ousting incumbent Amity Arnold. Arnold received 504 votes; Amanda Francis received 538.