By Cecilia Fox
For the Miami Valley Today
TIPP CITY — On Tuesday, Tipp City voters rejected a school construction bond issue by a vote of 53.26 percent against, according to unofficial results by the Miami County Board of Elections.
The 27-year, $35.75 million bond issue was intended to fund the renovation of approximately 60 percent of L.T. Ball Intermediate School and the addition of about 94,000 square feet for students up to fifth grade.
Superintendent Gretta Kumpf said the results are disappointing, but just “a temporary setback.” She added that the district will regroup and move forward to place a new bond issue on a future ballot.
“We will carefully think about how we will proceed,” she said. “We know that the need for the students in this school district regarding facilities is not going away. So we are ready to look at this again and create a plan to regroup and move forward.”
The bond issue received 1,432 votes in favor and 1,632 against, a difference of 200 votes, Kumpf noted.
“I think we can hold our heads high,” she said. “It was a very strong effort to really get out there in the community and share information about our facilities.”
The district partnered with the Ohio Facilities Construction Commission (OFCC) to fund the project and is set to receive 35 percent co-funding through the OFCC’s Expedited Local Partnership Program. The program allows districts to work on building projects and be reimbursed by the state later.
Last month, a letter from the OFCC said the amount of co-funding the district will receive could change because the master facilities plan described the project as a pre-kindergarten through sixth grade addition, not just for students through fifth grade.
The school board called a special meeting to discuss the letter and decided not to pull the bond issue off of the May ballot. Board member Sam Spano said that the district has worked with the OFCC for several years and believed that their current plan had the office’s approval.
Kumpf thanked the board for allowing the bond issue to go forward and the team that worked to provide information about the issue to the community.