Tipp board advances stadium issue

By Cecilia Fox - cfox@civitasmedia.com

TIPP CITY — At their meeting Monday night, the Tipp City Board of Education took the first step toward placing two bond issues on an upcoming ballot, one for the construction of a new elementary school and another for a new stadium.

The board declared the necessity of placing a bond issue on a future ballot for the new prekindergarten through third grade building to be constructed on the Broadway site.

An exact millage for each project will be determined, but the projected millage for the Broadway project is 3.99 mills.

After the board rejected a resolution that combined the school facilities and stadium into one bond issue, the resolution furthering the athletic facility bond issue passed narrowly, with Kate Johnsen and Carla Frame voting against.

“We spent taxpayer money to do two different surveys to find out what the community thinks about all of these issues. And the priorities that came back were teachers, buildings, and then athletic facilities,” board member Carla Frame pointed out. “If that isn’t a clear message about what our community wants, I guess I’m not sure how much clearer it could be.”

Board president Tom Merritt argued that no one could predict how voters will react, saying “if it doesn’t pass, it doesn’t pass.”

“You say that I’m trying to guess what the voters will do, well I’ve worked on levy committee for 20 years and I can tell you what the voters will do,” board vice president Kate Johnsen said. “I think it’s very difficult to market two separate campaigns at the same time.”

A location or design for the stadium has not yet been announced.

In other business, the district’s architect Mike Ruetschle presented the board with an updated site plan.

He proposed that the district house Broadway students in modular classrooms outside L.T. Ball. He also showed the board a map of the proposal for the new school, which is a symmetrical building with an entrance centered on the intersection of Broadway and Sixth Street. The plan also features added parking and a separate gym, cafeteria and auditorium building connected to the main school by an enclosed hallway.

Treasurer Dave Stevens also clarified that the district cannot place a bond issue on the ballot in the form of an earned income tax, as supported by several candidates for the school board. This is because the district is not accepting state cofunding for the building project. This type of levy may be used in the future for other levies.

The board will meet for a work session at 6:30 p.m. on Nov. 2 in the board office.

By Cecilia Fox