In 2012, South-Western City School District voters passed a 'no new millage' bond issue to rebuild or renovate all of the elementary schools and build a new Franklin Heights High School. This was Segment 1 of a partnership with the Ohio Facilities Construction Commission in which the state paid half of the core costs of the project. In addition, the District had retiring bond debt which allowed this project to be completed at no additional cost to its taxpayers (through a ‘no new millage’ bond issue). 

Franklin County Auditor Clarence Mingo explains Issue 7

The board of education placed a 'no new millage' bond issue, Issue 7, on the ballot for Segment 2 of the project, which passed on November 6, 2018. In partnership with the OFCC, Segment 2 focuses on rebuilding the four oldest middle schools (Brookpark, Finland, Norton, and Pleasant View), renovating and building an addition onto Jackson Middle School, renovating East Franklin Elementary School, and completing some much-needed roofing and asphalt projects across the district. The state will pay $60 million toward the project. The District has retiring bond debt, allowing Segment 2 to be completed with another ‘no new millage’ bond issue.

A ‘no new millage’ bond issue is exactly what it sounds like.  A ballot question is placed in front of voters to allow the District to continue to collect the same millage that is currently being collected for the purpose of capital (facilities and related items) improvements. While the ballot language must be written to authorize the issuance of bonds to cover the cost of the new project, the result to the community is ‘no new millage’ because the ballot language cannot take into account the retirement of future bond debt. 

Times have changed since the original middle schools were built. New school safety procedures require additional passive and active security systems to help keep our students safe. Additional educational technology and the resources required for students to be successful in today’s online and virtual worlds require updated electrical systems to fully support them. Instructional spaces need to be flexible and aligned to current programs. In addition, these new and renovated buildings will help our schools and community continue to grow and attract families and businesses that value education.