New Shelby Stadium Site Plan

An architect rendering of the proposed Shelby athletic complex that voters will decide on during the May 8 election.

SHELBY - Students in Shelby were denied a new school building for a second time in less than a year at Tuesday's primary election.

Shelby voters rejected a 4.6 mills, 34-year bond issue to build a new pre-kindergarten through eighth grade building plus a new football stadium.

Unofficial results from the Richland County Board of Elections showed 2,216 votes (62.02 percent) against the bond issue, and 1,357 votes (37.98 percent) for the bond issue.

Superintendent Tim Tarvin thanked everyone associated with the community of Shelby who worked on behalf of the bond issue.

"Of course, we're very disappointed that this issue did not pass, but the district remains steadfast in its belief that the buildings that house our students in grades pre-k through 8, as well as the football stadium, need addressed," Tarvin said in a statement. 

Shelby voters also rejected the district's first attempt at passing the levy 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 price of the bond issue raised by about $2 million for the second iteration of the bond issue. The total cost of the project in November 2017 was $39 million, but in May the total cost raised to $41.4 million.

The price increase came from increased interest and tax rates, and a new mandate from the state requiring all new construction projects for schools to include reinforced walls and ceilings for tornado shelters, raising the project cost approximately half a million dollars.

Another price increase came from the district's new plan for the football stadium. The new field would have been built in the center of the track, along with a concessions stand and bathroom facilities, and 400 new paved parking spaces.

"It costs more to build the stadium out at the track, and we knew that in November, but we wanted to present the least expensive place to build the stadium," Tarvin said in February. "But what we heard from the community was, even if it costs more, put the stadium somewhere different because it's inconvenient where it's at."

Tarvin stated the Shelby Board of Education, district administration and representatives from the Ohio Facilities Construction Commission would begin discussions soon on how to move forward in addressing the schools and stadium issue. 

"In the meantime, I would like to point out that, whether people voted yes or voted no, Shelby is a wonderful place to raise a family, to develop a business and to lay down roots," Tarvin said. "The defeat of this bond issue does not change that." 

Voters in Shelby also passed a 0.2 percent income tax levy continuation. The income tax levy continuation will maintain roadway and sidewalk improvements and repairs.

Unofficial results from the Richland County Board of Elections showed 1,298 votes (56.81 percent) for the tax levy, and 987 votes (43.19 percent) against. 

"I just thank the voters very much," said Project Manager Joe Gies. "We'll make sure to use their money wisely."

Voters in Shelby initially approved the levy in 2013, which paved the way for major projects in partnership with the Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT). State route projects like Main Street, Gamble Street and Mansfield Avenue were completed, costing the city $1.3 million in a $6.1 million project - meaning the city paid only 22 percent of the total project.

The renewal will collect an estimated $2 million over five years. It will not be able to resurface all of the city streets, but will cover the worst streets throughout the city.

"Our last levy the state routes took pretty much all the money but we got that done, so now we've got to hit our side streets," Gies said. "Broadway and Mickey are pretty bad, but they'll take up almost a full year's worth of paving money.

"We're going to figure out how to do that and still hit some of these side streets. It's a good problem to have."

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