May 2021 Ballot

Xenia Community Schools on the ballot for May 4, 2021.

ON THE BALLOT
There are two issues for Xenia Community Schools on the ballot for May 4, 2021:

  • Proposed Permanent Improvement Tax Levy (RENEWAL)
  • Proposed Bond Issue for Warner Middle School

ABOUT THE PERMANENT IMPROVEMENT LEVY (RENEWAL)The Bob Hope Auditorium and Benner Field House renovations.
The Permanent Improvement Levy funds major construction projects and upgrades, and will not increase taxes.

Over the past several years, these funds have supported popular projects that benefit our students, such as the recent renovation of the Bob Hope Auditorium at Xenia High School, and the restoration of the historic Benner Field House. 

These funds will continue to support the work of our Master Facilities Plan, and at least some of these projects would have to be put on hold indefinitely if the PI funds were no longer available.


ABOUT THE WMS BOND ISSUE
The Bond Issue to build a new Warner Middle School is a new, 2.3 mil bond that would cost the owner of a $100K property $6.71 per month, generating $36.2 million to build a NEW Warner Middle School on the current property. 

As most of our community is aware, this facility is nearly 60 years old. It is not large enough to house our 6th – 8th grade population, and does not have the infrastructure to meet the needs of our students.

Be sure to read the FAQs below for additional information about plans for Warner Middle School, and find the answers to the most common questions we receive.


Looking for more information? Join Superintendent Dr. Lofton for one of five community zoom calls where you can hear more, and have the chance to ask questions!


FAQs – WARNER MIDDLE SCHOOL BOND ISSUE (MAY 2021)

What is the plan for Warner Middle School? 
The current plan is to build a new Warner Middle School on the current site. 

This plan will replace the 1962 building, which is in serious need of new heating, plumbing, roofing, electrical, air conditioning and fire systems. 

The State of Ohio has already determined that replacing the facility is a more cost-effective way to modernize learning environments while operating more efficiently and providing greater safety measures, fire protection and handicap accessibility.

How much will it cost?
If passed, the bond issue on the May 4, 2021 ballot would cost the owner of a $100K property an additional $6.71/month in property taxes. This equates to 2.3 mills and will generate the $36M needed for construction of the new 1,100-student facility.  

Where will it be located? 
The newly constructed Warner Middle School will remain at the site of the current Middle School, and the current building will remain in operation during construction of the new facility. In addition, the new facility would be designed to have better traffic flow while remaining a good neighbor to the area.

What would the new facility look like?  
Any design or final plans for the facility will be made once construction funding is available. However, any facility would be designed to meet the needs of students now and in the future in terms of infrastructure, security, and more. 

At a minimum, any new facility would meet current standards for school safety, including: 

    •  Secure Entrances – Visitors would enter through a single double-door location, and must be buzzed into the building.

    •  Safe Spaces by Grade – Grade-bands designed with restrooms to be self-contained and reduce the number of students in hallways.

    •  Door Glass & Angles – Classroom doors are located and angled to create space that is invisible from the hallway.

    •  Lockdown System – A lockdown system allows for immediate signal of an intruder, can close and lock doorways between wings of a building, and notify local officials immediately.

    •  Camera Upgrades – Cameras to monitor busy hallways and remote entrances, deter vandalism, and provide school leaders with reliable information. 

I remember seeing dozens of possible plans. How did you settle on this one for Warner Middle School?  
For the better part of two years, the district brought together a mix of community voices with a range in viewpoints to assess those options. This Visioning Committee narrowed down options by eliminating ones that made the least sense, as well as considering the opinions they heard talking to friends and neighbors. 

Based on the facilities assessments, it was apparent to the committee members that the most urgent need was to replace Warner Middle School. Built in 1962, this building is now over capacity, as it was built to hold 823 students and there are 951 students in the building this school year. 

In addition, WMS also has multiple infrastructure issues that carry a price tag that rivals the cost to replace the facility entirely. Ultimately, the Visioning Committee made its recommendation to the XCS Board of Education to replace WMS.

Are there any other options? Why can’t we just move our middle school students back to Central?
Aside from the fact that it currently houses Xenia Preschool and the XTAR Gifted Program classrooms, Central is simply not large enough to accommodate our 6th – 8th grade student population — now or in the future. In addition, the Central facility was constructed in 1975, and has some of the same challenges as WMS and lacks the infrastructure for modern classrooms needed to prepare our middle school students for a successful career.

Why not just invest in the current property to improve it as needed?  
The State of Ohio has already inspected WMS, and determined that the cost to renovate the current building to make it “safe, warm, and dry” would end up costing more than investing in a new facility for our middle school students. 

In addition, students would not benefit from the many upgrades to their learning environment that would come with a new facility, such as more modern classroom spaces and labs, technology infrastructure, and more. 

Finally, funding a major facility renovation out of the operating budget would require a reduction in services that are important to students, teachers, and families. 

I agree that WMS needs to be replaced, but I’m not sure now is the time to do it. Why is the district asking for this now?
For the past several years, the district has connected with our community, listening to input from parents and concerned neighbors through public meetings, surveys, and the work of an engaged Visioning Committee that explored all the options and ultimately recommended the one on the ballot. 

In addition, the need at Warner Middle School is high — and not going to improve without significant investment. Our students deserve an educational environment that will give them the same advantages that students in neighboring districts enjoy, and put them on track to succeed in high school and beyond. 

Why are you asking the community to self-fund this project? Will the state be supporting this project?
Unfortunately, we are not currently eligible for state funds. Fortunately, unlike many districts, we are on the waiting list for possible reimbursement for a percentage of the expenses. However, we cannot realistically expect support prior to completing the project.

Looking for more information about other projects and improvements? 
Visit our Facilities page for updates on recent projects.