Board of Education approves final resolution for November ballot
On July 26, 2019, the Loveland City School District Board of Education unanimously approved a resolution to place a 16.78-mill combined operating and permanent improvement/bond levy on the November 5 ballot.
Approval by voters in the November election will implement the facility master plan approved by the Board of Education in April to address urgent and much-needed renovations and additions across the district, as well as provide the district operating funds for at least three years to ensure Loveland City Schools remains a strong, high-quality school district. The last operating levy was passed in 2014 and promised to last four years. Through conservative fiscal management and consistent focus on cost-saving opportunities, the district made the money last nearly one and a half years longer.
“Our Loveland school buildings reached their student capacity more than a decade ago and our classrooms are overcrowded,” said Dr. Amy Crouse, district superintendent. “We have utilized every possible space for student instruction, including storage areas and added trailers. We currently have five teachers on mobile carts at the high school because we simply have no place to put them. We have missed opportunities to add needed programs for our students at all levels because of the lack of space.”
Some school buildings in the district are nearly 80 years old and beyond their functional life. In the master planning assessment phase, the elementary school buildings – Loveland Early Childhood Center on Loveland-Miamiville Road and Loveland Primary and Elementary Schools on Loveland-Madeira Road – were determined to be more costly to maintain over time than build new. Accordingly, a campus for all pre-K through fifth grade students is planned on a section of the Grailville property off O’Bannonville Road, which the school district has the option to purchase.
The district worked diligently on the master plan for several years with considerable involvement by community members, who voiced the collective desire for critical facility improvements to benefit students across grade levels. The district has also worked with a number of government and private organizations this summer to create the most advantageous funding for the project.
“We have done our due diligence throughout the facility master planning process to investigate every possible avenue for reducing the cost to the taxpayer,” said Kevin Hawley, district treasurer/CFO. “We know for certain that the longer we put off a comprehensive approach to the facilities issues, the more expensive a solution will become.”
The district continues to work with private organizations on partnerships and contributions for parts of the master plan, including upgrades and enhancements to athletic and fine arts facilities.
“We are seeking additional public-private partnerships for the athletic facility enhancements and the new theater spaces at LHS,” said Dr. Crouse. “We already have an extensive and ongoing collaboration with the Loveland Athletic Boosters and our community youth leagues to support the athletic upgrades that were identified as priorities in the master planning process.”
How does the millage affect the Loveland homeowner?
The cost of the combined 16.78-mill levy translates into $49 monthly per $100,000 of appraised home value. If passed in November, collections will begin in 2020.
“This is an investment in Loveland that will benefit the whole community,” said Board President Art Jarvis. “The levy will provide significant benefits to the schools, and a strong, high-performing school district brings substantial benefits to the community at large, including higher home values. The Loveland City School District has benefited from community support, and based on the dedicated involvement of community members over the past several years, we feel confident our residents will see this as an excellent return on their investment as well.”