New Albany Schools need money for repairs

Issue 42 would give the district $1.2 million a year for building repairs. (WSYX/WTTE)

Voters in New Albany will decide next month whether to give the local school district $1.2 million for building repairs. Administrators for New Albany Plain Local Schools said several of their buildings are 20 years old and need new roofs and a new boiler.

"It looks beautiful and it's deceiving," Superintendent Michael Sawyers said of the school's campus. "It's hard to see roofs that are over 20 years old that now need to be replaced just like your roofs at home."

Building maintenance may not be as flashy a new school building but school officials said it's still important for helping kids learn.

"The roof isn't the first thing you think about or the boiler isn't the first thing you think about but making sure they're in a comfortable environment," said John McClelland, the school board president.

McClelland said the district has about $5 million to $6 million in repairs. The levy would give the district $1.2 million a year to put toward those repairs. The cost for someone owning a $300,000 home would be about $130 a year.

"Everyone is on the fence when it comes to spending money," said New Albany parent Joanne Blake-Williams. "We choose to live here. We choose to pay more taxes. This is a privileged area for certain."

Sawyers said New Albany Plain Local Schools receive less money from the state because of its high property values. Therefore the district must rely on local levies to pay for much of its expenses.

Some older bonds will be paid off by the time the new levy would kick in so taxpayers would still be paying less in school taxes than the year before if the levy is approved. The election will be November 7th.

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