Loveland, Ohio – On Friday, July 26 the Loveland Board of Education voted unanimously to place a combined operating and bond levy on the November 5 ballot. The additional money if approved by voters will fund daily operations of the school district and a building and construction bond to implement the district’s facility master plan.
The Board approved a facility master plan in April.
The District will issue bonds for $118,515,000:
“For the purpose of constructing school facilities and renovating and improving existing school facilities, including safety and security improvements; furnishing and equipping the same; improving the sites thereof; and acquisition of land and interests in land necessary.”
The Bonds will be dated approximately December 1, 2019;and bear interest at the estimated rate of 4.00% per annum; and will be paid over a period not to exceed 37 years.
The cost of the combined 16.78-mill levy translates into $49 monthly per $100,000 of appraised home value. If passed in November, collections will begin in 2020 according to the District.
The Hamilton County Auditor has certified, to the Board, that the dollar amount of revenue that would be generated by the Combined Levy during the first year of collection is $9,096,111, based on the current tax valuation of the School District of $878,003,060.
The last operating levy was for 5.6 mills and it was passed in May of 2014 with a 3,633 – 2489 vote. The District says it was a “four-year commitment” and they have stretched those dollars five and a half years. They say, based on their best projections at this time, they expect the new operating request to last at least three years. The operating levy provides operating money – energy bills, instructional costs including salaries and benefits, etc.
“We have done our due diligence throughout the facility master planning process to investigate every possible avenue for reducing the cost to the taxpayer,” said Kevin Hawley, district treasurer/CFO. “We know for certain that the longer we put off a comprehensive approach to the facilities issues, the more expensive a solution will become.”
The master plan outlines a new campus at Grailville for all Pre-K through fifth-grade students. It includes repairs, renovations, and additions to the Middle School/Intermediate School and High School campuses. The money will also be used for upgraded building security at all schools with secure entrances, camera systems, and electronically-activated locks. It includes upgraded and expanded science and technology laboratories for biotechnology and robotics, among others.
Included in the master plan is a new auditorium/fine arts center at the high school. The current auditorium will be repurposed as academic space. The master plan also includes upgrades and enhancements to athletic facilities at both the Middle and High Schools.
If the levy passes, approximately a year of designing and another year of construction will follow. The plan is to start the new campus construction first so that students (Pre-K-5th grade) can move into the new buildings in the fall of 2022. According to the plan, the additional repairs, renovations, and additions in the district are expected to be completed by 2025/2026.
A new transportation facility, now at the Primary and Elementary Campus, is planned for a later phase.
High School Athletic Field Enhancements
• New turf fields for baseball and softball
● Additional turf multi-purpose field
● New locker room and restroom facility
● New ticket booth and gateway entrance
● New concessions building
● Possible field lighting and new home bleachers
High School Addition
• New 1000-seat theater and support spaces
● New secured main entrances with administration space
● New large group collaboration and presentation space
● Additional classroom spaces
● Outdoor learning areas
High School Renovation
• Existing auditorium transformed into next-generation learning spaces for programs like robotics, computer science, makerspace, and science classes
● Enhanced mental health, counseling, and college and career areas
● Improved student circulation
● Increased student collaboration areas
During the District’s planning process estimates were made to calculate ranges of cost for the Master Plan, however, no up-dated costs have been provided. The broad estimates provided in January are:
• Renovations to the existing Intermediate/Middle School campus, renovations, and additions to the existing High School site, and constructing a new Pre-K through fifth-grade campus at Grailville will cost between 123 and 150 million and the milage range would be 7.37 – 9.02.
(This does not include the price for the Grailville land where the campus would be built. The District has an “Option to Buy” contract with Grailville for the approximately 110-acre site for $70,000 per acre less the value of a conservation easement that may be put on a portion of the land.)
• New fine arts center at the existing high school would cost between $12 and $16 million. The millage range was estimated to be between .72 and .96.
• Athletic Complex enhancements at the existing Middle and High School would cost between $5 and $7.5 million and a millage range of .3 – .45.
Architects hired by the District developed the budget for the total project ($165 M). The District told Loveland Magazine, “How the money is allocated towards the different parts of the master plan will be determined by various factors, like current market costs of building materials or the community’s priorities within the design process.”
You can read the full Resolution passed by the Board: July 26th resolution-1
Pending Board of Election approval, below is how question will appear on the ballot.
You can read more about the plans and the planning process at the Building Tiger Nation website.