Voters Approve New Clay Schools!

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The voters of the Clay Local School District spoke loud and clear on Tuesday, March 4, 2008, as they passed the Clay bond issue for a new pre-K-12 school facility.  Voters overwhelmingly approved the bond issue 1,071 to 382 (73.7% to 26.3%).

Thank you, voters, for helping "shape our future" !

WSAZ.COM Article & Video, Portsmouth Daily Times (Wednesday, Mar 5, 2008) article, & Election Night Results

Follow the bond issue and building project from campaign to completion 

Related story material & NewClaySchools.com



Voters soundly pass Clay levy

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Clay Local Schools superintendent Tony Mantell greets supporters of Clay's bid for a new pre-K-12 school building with a celebration cake Tuesday, after finding out it appeared voters had passed the school's levy.
T.W. Allen/Daily Times

  

  

  

  

  

  

  

  

  

  

  

  

  
After only four months, district gains support for new school

BY RYAN SCOTT OTTNEY, PDT Staff Writer
Published:  Tuesday, March 4, 2008 11:30 PM CST
Last year, Clay Local Schools scrapped its plans to ask voters to pass a levy for a new school in November, opting instead to defer its plans and take advantage of new funding regulations offered by the Ohio School Facilities Commission. Originally fearing it could take as long as two years to get back on the ballot, the school worked with local and state officials to expedite the process and not only made it onto the ballot, but passed, after only four months.

Early Tuesday evening, hours yet before the polls had closed, Clay Local Schools superintendent Tony Mantell said he felt really good about the district's chances for passing the levy.

"We didn't do any kind of exit polls. So we really don't know. We just feel that everything we've heard from the community has been very positive. We haven't heard any negative comments. No negative materials passed out. Everyone seems to have gotten on board," he said.

Mantell and other supporters of the new school initiative gathered in the cafeteria of Clay High School Tuesday night, standing together and waiting for the results to come in.


As the night went on, Clay Township received a higher than expected voter turnout. Randy Basham of the Scioto County Board of Elections said that he delivered an extra 100 ballots to Clay Township precinct F, though he wasn't sure how many were actually used.

"Clay was big because of the school levy they had out there. We projected because of the presidential primary, that it would take so many ballots, and we sent those ballots out this morning (Tuesday). But as the day went on, there was a greater turnout," he said.

Polls closed in the county at 7:30 p.m. At 11 p.m. the preliminary results were announced to a cafeteria full of anxious people, that voters had passed a levy for new Clay schools.

The results at the end of the night were 1,071 in favor of the levy, and 382 against.

"We're all very, very pleased and very, very grateful to the voters of Clay Township. I think when you have a majority like that, it certainly shows that the community is unified around a school. In small town America, I believe that the school is the center of the community and this goes a long way for showing that voters of Clay Township do care about the schools and do care about the children," Mantell said.

He thanked voters for recognizing the value of the opportunity presented before them and supporting the levy.

"We're anxious to get started and we're going to make them proud," he said.

With this passage, the district plans to take advantage of new OSFC regulations which will contribute 81 percent of the cost of a new $21 million K-12 school building. The remaining 19 percent, or $4 million, will be bourn by the local school district. That cost will be covered by a 6.8 mill levy that the voters passed on Tuesday, which includes a 0.5 mill maintenance levy required by the state.

Mantell said the school already has an existing five year 4.5 mill permanent improvement levy which is set to expire in July. The existing levy wouldn't be eligible to fund the new school, and will not be renewed once it expires. Ultimately, Mantell said, it's only a difference of 2.3 mills to the voter.

Mantell said he hopes to break ground in 2009 and have the doors open by 2010, but will most certainly be open by 2011.

The new building is expected to be a multi-floor K-12 facility, seated directly in front of the existing Clay High School. In further efforts to save money and use funds to develop more learning spaces, the district plans to save portions of the current high school, such as the gymnasium and classrooms, to be converted into administrative offices.

Mantell said that by deferring the project only a few months, the district has been able to reduce the tax payer responsibility by about 40 percent.

Reference
Ottney, Ryan Scott.  "Voters Soundly Pass Clay Levy."  Portsmouth-dailytimes.com.  4 March 2008.  6 March 2008  <http://portsmouth-dailytimes.com/articles/2008/03/05/news/1news_clay.txt>.
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