NORTH ROYALTON – City council and the mayor formally lent their support to the upcoming school bond, Issue 116, in the form of a resolution, which passed unanimously.
Council, as it did in 2014 and 2013, adopted the resolution at its Sept. 20 meeting, and agreed a strong city is dependent upon a strong school system to help maintain high property values and remain competitive.
Ward 6 Councilman Dan Kasaris said lending support was an easy decision for him having witnessed firsthand the past 17 years the need to keep the schools in excellent condition.
“And with Kasich budget cuts imposed upon our schools and the funneling of millions of dollars away from public schools to charter schools, unfortunately, more burden is placed on city school systems and their residents,” he said. “A healthy school system permits our city to retain higher property values and allows our school system to continue to maintain its excellence.”
Mayor Bob Stefanik agrees.
“It’s always difficult to go back to the voters for more money, but, unfortunately, due to the severe cuts in local government funding from our state legislators, this is now a necessity,” he said.
Ward 4 Councilman Paul Marnecheck, who attended the most recent community bond meeting Sept. 13, said this is necessary to remain competitive.
“This levy would give our teachers the tools needed to ensure we produce top-tier students ready to succeed at the next level. Our students are competing with students from across Ohio and now the world. We must remain competitive,” he said.
Ward 3 Councilman Dan Langshaw, a former school board member, said he realizes it is a great deal of money, but describes it as a solid investment for the future of the entire community.
“It costs lots of money to maintain an excellent school system. That’s just a tough reality that we all have been dealt, given all the state cuts to education. But, if nothing is done to improve the learning environment for our kids, then it will only cost the community much more money to use Band-Aids versus doing the surgery that will finally address this educational issue,” he said. “There will be a positive savings or return on investment that can be seen. For example, with building one, centralized elementary school, the district can reduce administrative and operating costs in the long term with this plan. This bond issue is a very pragmatic approach that will finally resolve this longstanding issue for good.”
Superintendent Greg Gurka said he is grateful to have the city’s backing.
“I appreciate the support of the city council and Mayor Stefanik,” he said. “Having strong schools keeps our community strong, and we are all working together for that purpose.”
If approved, the bond would cost the owner of a $200,000 home $18.08 per month for 30 years generating $88.9 million to be used to build one centralized elementary housing 1,300 students at State Road and Valley Parkway; renovate the middle school; and demo and rebuild the 1950s and ‘60s sections of the high school and renovate the ‘70s and ‘80s sections. It also provides for the abatement and demolition of the three elementary buildings as well as permanent improvement dollars generating $500,000 yearly to maintain buildings long term. The Ohio Facilities Construction Commission would contribute $4.5 million, and the district $1.5 million to the project.
To learn more about the bond, visit northroyaltonsd.org and click on the bond issue facts tab.