Olentangy Schools asking voters to fund fourth high school, other improvements

DELAWARE CO., Ohio (WCMH)–Olentangy Local School officials said the need for a levy is urgent ahead of Tuesday’s election.

Officials said OLSD is the fastest growing school district in the state. The district is asking for money to build and operate a fourth high school, purchase the Olentangy Academy building, fund bus purchases and specific roof needs.

A school district board member said they get the least amount of state funding for districts in the area due to their affluence, but not everyone living here said they can afford to pay higher taxes.

olentangy 1Almost everyone NBC4 spoke with at the Delaware County Orange branch library said they would vote yes to the new school levy.

“It is the whole reason we moved into Olentangy was to get into a great school district for our children,” Ryan Schildknecht said. He is a parent of a kindergartener and first grader.

“Well I am definitely going to vote for it. I think it is important to help our schools and we are having a lot of growth in the area, so it is important to allow our schools to grow as well,” said Sandy Antoszewski. She is the mother of one middle and two elementary age students.

The district’s web site shows more than 1,600 students attend each of the three existing high schools which they consider extremely overcrowded. The levy will add $241.50  per $100,000 accessed home value raising $79 million over three years. But that is a tax increase some said they can’t afford.

“Us people on a fixed income can’t afford this stuff. I don’t know where it is going to end up, they just keep more levies and more levies,” said Jim Fields.

The last levy passed was in 2011.

“I think it is ok for people that have kids in school, but I think the retired and those who don’t have kids in school should be grandfathered in somehow. The ones retired are on fixed incomes and can’t afford it,” said neighbor Debbie Galleger.

A school board member wrote a “no” vote will not send a message to the statehouse about equal school funding.

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