by Linda Holtkamp
We are a generous city, especially where our schools are involved. We have passed levy after levy after levy, by comfortable margins, whenever we were told there was need.
Now, we are being told there is great need, urgent need, to bring our facilities up to date.
Linda Holtkamp lives in the Plantation Pointe subdivision in Symmes Township
And it’s going to require enormous sacrifice. The schools all need to be extensively revamped or demolished, and it will cost each property owner thousands of dollars, additional, every year, for a very long time. 37 years at the minimum. And, well, most of the money will have to be paid forever. We are going to build big, and we are going to build new. Renovating, for the most part, is not an option.
Repairing or using what we already have at the primary school level is off the table. We need new land, 110 acres of it, and it will cost $7.7 million dollars. It’s raw land, so, it will need massive amounts of expensive preparation before it can even be built upon. We need three new, state of the art buildings on that land, with brand new everything inside. Just figure about $92,000,000 for the whole project, and we have Preschool through 5th grade settled.
Middle school is in pretty good shape, having been renovated when the high school was built. But, we could build outside bathrooms and clean up the sports area in the back, add an 8 lane track so the track team does not have to go all the way to the high school to practice, and new bleachers. The school needs a skylight because it’s too dark inside, and upgrades to the entrance. Let’s budget about $25,000,000.
The high school is our newest complex, but still needs some high ticket items.
For sports, the need is for turf on baseball, softball, and a multi-purpose field. Grass is not good enough, as occasionally it gets muddy. We absolutely need new concession stands and a new gateway entrance because, well, we just do. We should budget about $10 million for sports.
The school itself has big, costly needs. The auditorium, while it is absolutely fine, almost brand new, is too small for Show Choir and band concerts. We need new, so let’s plan for the future in a big way. Let’s go with a two-story, 1,000 seat auditorium. Around that, we will build multiple band rooms, art rooms, and a photo studio. $16,000,000. Sixteen Million Dollars. Just for Fine Arts. That should do it. Good acoustics are pricy.
Remember that existing, beautiful, approximately 578 seat auditorium with years of usable life left? We will completely demolish that, level out the floor, and use that space for science labs. The Robotics Team members will get space there, along with lots of ultra-expensive equipment to further their projects.
The total budget for the high school reno and new building will amount to $53,000,000.
As you see, almost half of the money is going to the two newest school complexes.
Grand total, with more thrown in for overruns: $165,000,000. Plus $7.7 million for the land
You will get great satisfaction sending the schools 43% more school property taxes each year. On top of what you already pay. And, this increase is so large, the schools will never need to ask for money again, right?
Nope. Look for another levy in 3 years, for more operating expenses.
That is a promise, as well.
Join your neighbors and fellow taxpayers who find this plan, and the costs involved, totally unworkable.
Vote AGAINST the levy on Tuesday, November 5.
It’s OK to say NO.