By Whitney Vickers
FAIRBORN — Fairborn voters unofficially passed Issue 19 Tuesday by a 21 percent, or more than 3,000 votes.
More than 60 percent of voters voted for, while more than 39 percent voted against the issue, which will allow for construction of and maintenance of two new elementary school. Fairborn City Schools Superintendent expressed gratitude and appreciation after he learned of its passage.
“It’s real now,” he said. “It’s something a lot of people have been working on for a long time. This effort was ongoing for a while and we are now at a point where we will see brick and mortar go up and we will see the environmental needs taken care of for the children. It’s symbolic of all the work done by [several members of the community].”
The bond levy is 2.7 mills for a 37-year period. The permanent improvement levy is .25 mill for a 23-year period. It would generate approximately $1,708,000 annually, translating to an owner of a Fairborn property worth $100,000 paying $103.25 per year, or $1.99 per week.
Now that it has passed, the Fairborn community will see new Fairborn Primary School (formerly known as Five Points Elementary School) and Fairborn Intermediate School (formerly Palmer-South Elementary School) buildings. North said in previous interviews that funds generated by the levy could not be used to support salaries or day-to-day operations. The funds will also support building maintenance in the future.
“We’re moving forward,” North said. “This is the next step in moving forward. Now we’re going to plan the buildings to take care of the needs of our kids, break ground for the Fairborn Primary School building, take the next step, then we’re going to cut the ribbon for that building and take the next step. Then we’re going to break ground for the Fairborn Intermediate School, take the next step, then we’re going to cut the ribbon for that building and take the next step.”
District officials will now focus on the next step in getting these buildings constructed — the planning process, which is expected to take approximately the next year to complete. Construction of both buildings will take approximately a year and a half to two years for each, focusing on one building at a time and starting with Fairborn Primary School.
Fairborn City Schools Treasurer Nicole Marshall said they maintained an optimistic attitude about Issue 19’s passage, scheduling a planning meeting to take place Wednesday, following election day.
“Thank you,” she said to voters. “We’re all excited to get started and are looking forward to the future of Fairborn. Everyone is excited and ready to get to work. It will be great for the community. We needed this.”
The levy funds will not support the full cost of the project, approximately $58 million. However, the district has been working with the Ohio Facilities Construction Commission since the inception of this project. The OFCC agreed to fund approximately 40 percent of the project, leaving FCS to ask the Fairborn community for their support.
“It’s time to roll up our sleeves and work harder,” North said. “It’s time to fulfill the expectations of voters and do this right.”