Superintendent John Krupinksi took the school district's message to the streets last weekend, joining volunteers going door-to-door to campaign for Issue 116 , the $81 million bond issue to build and repair school buildings.
Krupinski said he was heartened by the positive feedback he got in the Olympia development for older adults.
"There were many people who said they always support the schools," he said. "And once others learned the facts of the issue, they said they would vote for it."
Krupinski also met Monday night with City Council members to explain the bond issue, which would allow the district to build a $46 million middle school on the site of the current 104-year-old Center Middle School ; make $26 million in building and technology improvements at Strongsville High School ; and put $9 million into elementary school buildings.
"This is not just about facilities. It's providing our students with technology they have at home, but they don't have at school," Krupinski said. "It's still the teacher that's the most important part of the classroom, but that teacher needs tools."
The timing could not be better, he said -- because bond issues that cost $77 a year for every $100,000 in home valuation are expiring, homeowners would see their taxes increase only $2.09 per month for every $100,000 in valuation.Also, interest rates are low and construction costs are down.
"This is our perfect storm," he said.
Once a new middle school is built, the district will save a minimum of $1.5 million a year in operating costs -- from consolidating two buildings into one, and from lower energy and maintenance expenses.
Also, with sixth-graders being moved to the new middle school, the elementary buildings would have room to provide all-day kindergarten -- a shortcoming that has led to declining enrollment .
Ward 3 Councilman Jim Carbone, who helped draft the plan for the new middle school and other building improvements, said he believes it reflects well on the district that the superintendent joined volunteers on the streets in the campaign.