January 13, 2023
During its meeting of January 9, 2023, the Northwest Local Schools Board of Education voted to place a 4.98-mill bond issue on the May 2, 2023, ballot.
As you may recall, a bond issue for the district appeared on the ballot last November. The issue was unsuccessful, but the need to address aging, deteriorating, outdated buildings still needs to be addressed.
To contain project costs, the scope of the proposed work is scaled back. The plan to replace the 56-year-old Houston Early Learning Preschool with a new building is no longer part of this project. Despite this change, the millage amount will remain the same in May as in November due to increasing interest rates.
If/When the community approves the bond issue, monies would be invested in replacing three buildings the state has deemed inadequate for 21st Century teaching and learning, and making much-needed renovations to a fourth building. The funds will also enable the district to address the $40 million in deferred maintenance costs versus starting an ongoing repair cycle until additional funds are available for future renovation or replacement. Even repairs would require additional funds from our community.
The new construction will also earn the district approximately $50 million in funding from the Expedited Local Partnership Program. These funds are provided by the state and can be used for the high schools phase of the district’s Facilities Master Plan - phase three. These additional funds, along with the $16 million we earned in phase one, will only be available to the district when new construction is initiated under a state program.
The need for new buildings, building renovations, safety and security measures, technology, and other capital improvements were identified in the district’s 2014 Master Facility Plan, which was updated in 2021 by a committee of community leaders, parents, teachers, students, and staff.
Phase 1 of the multi-phase facilities plan was completed in 2018 with the opening of three new elementary buildings - Taylor, Struble and Pleasant Run.
Key projects in phase 2 include:
Construction of a new Colerain Elementary (99 years old)
Construction of a new Colerain Middle (92 years old)
Construction of a new Pleasant Run Middle (53 years old)
Renovation of Monfort Heights Elementary (23 years old)
Northwest LSD is made up of 11 schools and is the 2nd largest school district in Hamilton County with approximately 8,500 students.