Residents should support school levy

Investing in our children costs money and if Xenia wants its students to have a promising future then passing Issue 21 is essential.

The Xenia Community School District is asking its voters to pass Issue 21, a 3.9-mill, 37-year levy to partially fund construction of a new high school/middle school complex. This is important to the City of Xenia and its school district and we are encouraging voters to approve it Nov. 8. This levy will cost less than $12 a month for the owner of a $100,000 home.

We understand that residents don’t like to see taxes increase, but the potential benefits will outweigh the cost.

The current high school and Warner Middle School buildings are old and need many repairs.

The Ohio School Facilities Commission sent a team to both buildings and uncovered a plethora of issues. There is a lack of fire suppression systems, water-damaged ceilings, building infrastructure that cannot support modern educational technology, rusted and collapsed pipes with failing shut-off valves, unreliable heating systems, and numerous issues with ADA compliance. Also, according to the state’s assessment, both buildings are too small to accommodate projected enrollment and would require an addition.

The Ohio Facilities Construction Commission approved a grant of nearly $29 million to help cover part of the estimated $64 million project. This is a one-time offer that goes away in a year if the schools can’t pass the levy.

There has been some opposition to this. One resident is passing out propaganda regarding the potential safety of the new buildings with regard to tornadoes. We spoke with a wind expert at Texas Tech and with the OSFC, along with the design team. The new buildings will have tornado safe areas inside and the buildings themselves will be safer than the current buildings, which do not meet current FEMA standards. This is a fact and was addressed in two stories Oct. 1.

New buildings will help attract new residents and new businesses. There is at least one new housing development on the horizon for Xenia. Wouldn’t it be nice to have a new high school and middle school to go along with the new elementary schools for the new residents?

Schools are one of the most central aspects of a community. No one wants to move to a town with schools in disrepair.

This levy was endorsed by the Xenia City Council Thursday.

The City of Xenia needs more money to provide the kind of community that competes for parents-families who want to raise their children in a good community with good schools. And it attracts businesses, which again helps the overall tax base.

Businesses won’t come to a town that doesn’t have a growing population. The city is getting a new hotel, tearing down the Kmart building to make way for a new development and a new administration building is set to open. But what grows population more than anything? Good schools.

Making Xenia attractive is an investment in the future of the city — something we all should and can do! Xenia’s students deserve a contemporary building in which to learn.

Everyone wins.

Residents should support school levy