Columbus City Schools levy money will go to improvements, staff hires

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COLUMBUS (WCMH) — Big plans are moving forward in one local school district. The Columbus City Schools levy was passed overwhelmingly by voters. That means millions of new tax dollars will be invested in the state’s largest school district.

Approximately $125 million will go toward updating some of the district’s aging buildings.

Highland Elementary School Principal Dr. Elizabeth McNally says, “Now maybe we can get our ceilings redone, which will be so exciting to have the ceilings back in such a beautiful, historic buildings.”

ccs-2There are problems everyday in this 120 year old building related to its aging infrastructure, McNally says.

“This (library roof) has been consistently leaking and pouring down and then, of course, we get the mildewy nature of the library,” she said.

The library roof is just one of the problems. There is paint peeling off the walls, and toilets flood thanks to aging pipes.  Last week, the heat in part of the building stopped working.

ccs-3“It does take away from instructional time,” McNally says. “We are really excited that hopefully that won’t be a distraction that we have to deal with anymore.”

In addition to the $125 million dollars going to maintenance upgrades, the district will use $50 million to hire more than 300 new staff and teachers.

“This allows us to bring those positions on in a five-year period,” Columbus Schools Superintendent Dr. Dan Good explained. “We use our student needs to base those positions we will post and hire for.”

The district will hire new pre-K teachers, English as a second language educators, school nurses, social workers, special education personnel and others. The first new wave of district employees will start this fall.

“Being able to provide the right conditions for success for them is what’s going to cause them to graduate, and hopefully go to school here or get a job here or enter the military,” Good said.

Columbus property taxes will rise $242 per year for a home valued at $100,000.

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