The Issue

Olentangy Schools will be on the March 17, 2020 ballot with a single issue with three parts – an operating levy, a permanent improvement levy and a bond issue. The money raised from the passage of this issue will allow Olentangy to continue to provide the level of educational excellence and opportunities that our community values.

Description Mills
Operating Levy Millage 7.4
Permanent Improvement (PI) levy millage  0.5
Bond additional millage 0.0
Total millage  7.9

The cost to taxpayers for the 7.9 mills on this ballot issue will be $276.50 per $100,000 of home valuation. This amount is in addition to what taxpayers currently pay in school property taxes. Both the operating levy and the permanent improvement levy are permanent, as all prior operating levies have been in Olentangy.

The school board projects that the operating levy portion of this ballot issue will meet district’s financial needs for at least the next 3 years.

The last ballot issue in March 2016 was projected to meet the district’s financial needs for 3 years. Instead, the district has made it last 4 years.   

With this ballot issue, Olentangy will have the funds and facilities to accommodate the projected enrollment growth. According to the Facilities Committee, a defeat will result in significant overcrowding, larger class sizes, and costly, temporary solutions to manage the overcrowding. It puts at risk the academic experience and the opportunities available to students.


Operating Levy Information

Operating levy dollars pay for expenses such as personnel, utilities, and classroom supplies. It allows the district to hire and retain quality teachers and other personnel in order to meet the needs of the district’s continued enrollment growth. 


Permanent Improvement (PI) Levy Information

This Permanent Improvement portion of the ballot issue will generate approximately $2 million annually for maintenance on all Olentangy facilities as well as upgrades and replacement costs for technology. By placing this on the ballot as a permanent improvement levy, these funds must be used exclusively to maintain buildings, property and other capital needs. The upkeep of the school district's buildings is critical to extending their useful lives.


Bond Package Information

The total bond package is for $134.7 million.

Based on the projected enrollment growth, the district’s Facilities Committee has recommended building two elementary schools and one middle school. The Facilities Committee is a group of district taxpayers with extensive professional expertise in construction, architecture and technology who meet and collaborate with the Facilities team from the district. Based on the committee's recommendation as well as additional research, the school board then determined that the best option to manage current overcrowding and projected enrollment growth is to build the two elementary schools and one middle school.

The bond package includes the following items:

Project

Cost

Open Date

Elementary School #1

$26 million

August 2021

Elementary School #2

$27.2 million

August 2023

Middle School

$50.3 million

August 2023

Security vestibules at building entrances

$2.3 million

as soon as possible

High School Improvements, including collaborative space, media centers, broadcast journalism rooms

$1.1 million

as soon as possible

Middle School Improvements, including collaborative space

$0.4 million

as soon as possible

Elementary School Improvements, including playground updates, sensory rooms, media centers

$5.3 million

as soon as possible

Liberty High, Hyatts Middle and Liberty Tree Elementary transportation improvements

$0.6 million

as soon as possible

Buses

$6.1 million

as needed

Roofing, mechanicals, and improvements to Hyatts Middle athletic field parking

$10.3 million

as needed

Purchase leased administrative building

$5 million

2020

  • Due to rapid growth in our community as well as some bonds being paid off in the near future, the bond portion of the ballot issue will be collected at "no additional mills." This allows future residents to pay more of their fair share because the district’s growth allows them to structure the debt in a way that doesn’t raise taxpayers’ current rate for school bonds.

  • This plan addresses growth while keeping our tax rates lower than under a traditional bond funding model, which would require current residents to pay more than future residents.

  • Money raised through the issuance of bonds can only be used for the building of new buildings, remodeling of existing buildings, purchase of land for future buildings or purchase of new equipment (like buses and building mechanicals). Bond money cannot be used for operating expenses, which include staff salaries, utilities and everyday expenses.