Shelby Board of Education

The Shelby Board of Education approved the first reading of a resolution on Monday to go back to the ballot with a school facilities improvement bond issue. 

SHELBY - The Shelby City Schools district is trying one more time to build a new school building for students in grades pre-kindergarten through eighth.

The Shelby Board of Education unanimously approved the first reading of a resolution to put a school facilities improvement bond issue back on the ballot in November. This time around, the ballot language will be asking only for a new Pre-K through eighth grade building.

Superintendent Tim Tarvin emphasized that for the Nov. 6 general election, building a new football stadium and renovating the current middle school would not be on the ballot.

"The community spoke very loudly in November and May that they could not support what we were putting on the ballot," Tarvin said. "At some point we have to listen to what the community is saying."

Shelby voters first rejected the district's first attempt at passing a levy to build a new school and a new football stadium on the Nov. 7, 2017 general election. Official results from the Richland County Board of Elections showed 2,263 votes (58.63 percent) against the bond issue, and 1,597 votes (41.37 percent) for the issue.

The issue was rejected again on the May 8 primary election. Official results from the Richland County Board of Elections showed 2,229 votes (62.04 percent) against the bond issue, and 1,364 votes (37.96 percent) for the issue.

According to Tarvin, this is the district's last chance to take advantage of funding from the Ohio Facilities Construction Commission (OFCC). Currently Shelby is eligible to receive 50 percent of construction costs from the state. 

"However, if we are defeated in November, then Shelby tumbles down that list of being able to have access to funds from the OFCC," Tarvin said. "For all intents and purposes, if Shelby wants to capture that funding from the state to help us construct a new building, November is our last opportunity to do that." 

The cost to build only a Pre-K through eighth grade building would total $33.6 million. That equals approximately $16.8 million to the OFCC, and $16.8 million to the Shelby City Schools community. 

The cost to voters within Shelby lowers even more after factoring in a $6.6 million contribution from the Shelby City Schools district. In total, the cost to the Shelby community would be $10.2 million. 

"They're getting a $33 million project for $10.2 million," Tarvin said. "That's a pretty solid number." 

The district plans to have an official millage rate for voters by the second reading of the resolution at their July meeting, but on Monday they estimated the bond issue would be 2.6 mills. For the average homeowner in Shelby, that equals $6.80 per month for the next 37 years. 

Tarvin called the new plan a "bare-bones" proposal compared to the original proposal on the ballot nearly a year ago. 

"Our highest priority is to get our kids into a new building," he said. "We understand the stadium needs to be addressed, but our highest priority is building a new school for our students.

"We're beginning the last leg of our journey. Ultimately the community is going to decide what this school district looks like." 

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