Saturday, July 06, 2002

Survey to explore bond issue


Talawanda school board seeks input for November ballot

By Sue Kiesewetter
Enquirer contributor

        OXFORD — About 300 residents of the Talawanda Schools are being asked to participate in a scientific phone survey to help the board of education decide what kind of bond issue to put on the November ballot.

        Voters in May rejected a $53.9 million bond issue that would have funded a long-range master facilities plan that included construction of a new elementary and high school.

        Talawanda would be eligible to receive 24 percent of the project's cost sometime between 2009 and 2011 according to estimates provided by the Ohio School Facilities Commission, said Superintendent Phil Cagwin.

        Besides building new schools, the 27-year bond issue would pay to renovate the existing high school for use as a middle school, upgrade the middle school for use as an elementary school and expand Maud Marshall Elementary School. Stewart and Kramer elementary schools would close once the project was completed.

        Surveys began last week. People are being asked demographic questions and about the defeated bond issue.

        “We want to get to the reasons individuals voted no,” Mr. Cagwin said. “We've talked to so many people, but we're never sure if they're speaking for the majority. We're hoping this gives us an accurate reason why people voted yes or no.”

        Results of the survey will be presented to educators July 15 . Burgess & Burgess is heading the survey effort at a cost not to exceed $15,000.

        Talawanda Board of Education President Glenn Bailey said the board would likely schedule a special work session following the presentation before making a decision on a bond issue. The deadline for putting an issue on the Nov. 5 ballot is Aug. 22.

        The board could decide to do nothing, put the same 7.78-mill bond issue on the ballot, put one smaller issue on the ballot now and a second issue later, or come up with a different option.

       



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