ENGLEWOOD — The Miami Valley Career Technology Center (MVCTC) will be on the ballot May 2 asking residents in its 27 partner districts to approve a bond issue for the remodeling and expansion of its main campus.
In Miami County, this affects voters in the Bethel, Tipp City, Milton-Union and Miami East school districts. This school year the center is serving 441 from those four school districts, either at the main campus or at satellite campuses.
The funds generated by the 30-year bond issue would be used to address infrastructure issues, expand the center’s facilities and upgrade its technology. Superintendent Nick Weldy said the state is funding 47 percent of the project.
“It’s really for us to improve the safety of the buildings. They’re getting to be 50 years old, we’re starting to get end-of-life issues for our major mechanical systems,” Weldy said.
The bond issue ballot language is divided into three parts, Weldy said, including 0.29 mills to pay the local share of the construction under the State of Ohio Vocational Facilities Assistance Program and 0.8 mills for improvements to the current facility. The former will generate about $34 million and the latter about $95 million.
The ballot language also includes a 10-year 0.34 mill tax levy that sets aside money for future facility improvements, for a total millage of 1.43 mills. That levy is required by the state and “drops off after 10 years,” Weldy said.
“There’s a required maintenance ‘set aside’ that the state of Ohio requires us to do if we’re part of an Ohio School Facilities Commission project,” Weldy said.
For the first 10 years, the bond issue would cost the owner of a $100,000 home about $4.17 per month, which would drop to about $3.18 per month when the 10-year levy expires.
According to Weldy, MVCTC has not requested any separate facility money since its facilities were built in 1968 and the buildings’ aging infrastructure has led to an increase in safety concerns.
A recent Ohio School Facility Commission assessment listed dozens of structural issues, rating them from satisfactory to needs repair or replacement.
Issues in need of replacement, which necessitate more immediate action, include ventilation, heating and air conditioning systems, plumbing and fixtures, roofs and electrical systems. MVCTC’s facilities also face issues with brick peeling and exterior cracking, structural support failing and cracks and outdated equipment.
Bond issue funds would also allow MVCTC to expand, both in size and programming. In recent years space has been an issue, causing the school to turn away between 200 and 300 students every year, Weldy said.
“Picture it as a pipeline — I’ve got this backup on the front of the pipeline because there more want to come in than I can take and I’ve got this huge void at the end of the pipeline where I’ve got all these employers wanting kids, but there’s not enough coming out,” Weldy explained. “Our facilities are the bottleneck that’s in the middle of those two pieces and I’m trying to correct that.”
If the bond issue passes, MVCTC will also be able to upgrade the center’s current technology to meet industry standards.
“We’re the only game in town really when you look at high school training for things such as HVAC and welding, machining,” Weldy said. “So these employers, we’re their only source for new blood coming in to their profession.”
MVCTC serves more than 3,000 high school students and more than 5,000 adults in five counties, covering about 4,000 square miles. The school operates 13 satellite programs, including business and agriculture classes offered at Milton-Union.
Reach Cecilia Fox at firstname.lastname@example.org.