Ohio School Construction Measures Draw Mixed Results

Thu November 07, 2002 - National Edition

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) _ Voters rejected two multimillion dollar school construction projects in Cincinnati and Summit County while approving others in Dayton and Columbus.

Voters in Toledo also appeared to approve a large construction project for schools, with a 50.8 percent margin in unofficial results.

More than 160 districts placed 190 issues on the ballot Tuesday, many looking for additional money for basic operating costs.

Voters in Heath in central Ohio, for example, approved an emergency levy that would raise $1.3 million a year for five years for the 1,600-student district.

Five big-city districts had construction bonds on the ballot. At stake was the renovation or new construction of hundreds of school buildings in projects worth $4.2 billion.

Toledo’s $798 million project, including $184 million in local dollars, would build 57 new schools and renovate seven.

Summit County school officials unsuccessfully pushed a sales tax that would have raised $30 million a year for 17 districts.

The issue was particularly urgent for Akron Public Schools, which wants to begin a $770 million school construction project. The district first must secure $284 million in local money to get the remaining money from the state.

Voters in Cincinnati narrowly rejected a bond issue that would have raised about $480 million as part of a $916 million project.

The project calls for building 35 new schools and renovating 31 others

Columbus voters easily approved a similar proposal to raise about $390 million to replace 26 schools and renovate 12 others.

Dayton voters also approved that district’s $488 million project, which included $190 million in local money.