XENIA — Voters will decide Tuesday, Nov. 6 if they will support a bond issue placed on the ballot by the Greene County Career Center.
The levy is 1.03 mills for a period of 20 years. If it passes, Issue 2 would generate approximately $62 million annually costing an estimated $36.05 per year per $100,000 home valuation. The funds generated by the levy can only go toward construction, technology and property-related items as the career center is aiming to construct a new facility in the coming years.
The new facility would expand programming in robotics, cyber security, drone technology, manufacturing and engineering technology after the career center conducted a study and found the need for more local education and training in those fields.
The Greene County Career Center Board of Education recently purchased 37.46 acres at the US Route 68 and the US Route 35 bypass for the proposed facility. The property was purchased for a $870,000 and is closer for five of the seven schools that the career center serves.
If the levy passes, ground would be broken one to two weeks following election day, according to GCCC Superintendent Dave Deskins, and students would begin filling the new classrooms beginning in the 2020-2021 school year.
If the levy does not pass, Deskins said the board would aim to survey the public for a second time and try to pass the levy again.
“The board went back and forth on whether or not to purchase the property,” Deskins said. “But [we] know the time is coming that the career center will have to rebuild — we hope it is sooner rather than later.”
Five-hundred registered Greene County voters were surveyed in 2015 and revealed that 90 percent of community members support the Take Flight initiative, or the career center’s expansion of aviation and aerospace programs, and 59-percent said they would support a new facility.
The Ohio Facilities Construction Commission determined in 2016 that the current 50-year-old building would require $24.2 million in structural repairs to bring the facility up to code. Infrastructure issues found at the facility included plumbing, septic, electric, HVAC and roofing. School officials feel that focusing on repairing the infrastructure alone would not allow for any program expansion.
Current enrollment on the main campus includes approximately 700 students, while more than 2,000 local pupils take advantage of career-technical programming within seven of the districts the career center serves.