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Austintown schools chief appeals for community support on bond issue



Published: Sun, September 27, 2009 @ 4:40 p.m.

By Jon Moffett

Superintendent Colaluca asked the community for support on the bond issue.

AUSTINTOWN — Thousands of current and former students, faculty and staff of the Austintown Local School District gathered around a bonfire to celebrate unity and pride in the school system.

School administrators hope the fire of school spirit still burns later this fall when a 2.9-mill bond issue will be on the Nov. 2 ballot. The district hopes to borrow more than $26 million to fund the local share of a facility expansion project through the sale of bonds.

The district had a pep rally last week behind Falcon Stadium to celebrate a successful fall sport season for the Austintown Fitch Falcons and its annual athletic Hall of Fame inductions.

Superintendent Vincent Colaluca took advantage of the gathering and briefly addressed the crowd, reminding them of the major decision looming for township voters.

“If you can give us your support, we’d really appreciate it,” he said before encouraging the students in their athletics.

If approved by voters, the bond issue would help fund the district’s 53 percent share of a $50 million facility-expansion project to build two schools and create a central campus for the district.

Read the full story Monday in The Vindicator and on Vindy.com.


Comments

1janeyblue(227 comments)posted 4 years, 11 months ago

but it was ok a few weeks ago for poland to celebrate the new stadium?
hypocrite!
and for the record...I am voting it down!

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2metz87(884 comments)posted 4 years, 11 months ago

Sorry stupid idiots on the board,we are not buying your lying crying ways anymore! You either learn to accpet that fact or you got to go. Keep crying to us about having no money all's that wil happen is it will turn more people off. You would either be stupid or on the BOE to vot yes on this levy.

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3aztek519(29 comments)posted 4 years, 11 months ago

They aren't saying they dont have money. They are asking for your support for a bond issue to support building new schools. If passed, Atown would only be responsible for 53% of the bill. Why on earth would you rather pay 100% down the road when the schools are in desperate need of repair and the schools are not eligible for this deal? You people are stupid. Where I live, when the school board wants to raise our property taxes, they raise them. However, the last three sales tax issues the schools have asked for for building construction have been overwhelmingly approved. Why? Because we support our schools and look at them as an asset to our community, not a liability. Maybe that's why people move to where I live and out of where you live. My property value has not gone down in this economy. How about yours?

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4UnionForever(1470 comments)posted 4 years, 11 months ago

NO NO NO. We can't afford it. Would all school boards please go away from levies. Do you realize we have 15% unemployment in the valley and we don't have money for such things as school levy property tax increases?

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5valleyred(1097 comments)posted 4 years, 11 months ago

VOTE NO!!!!

Read my column on why you should vote NO on this bond levy!

http://mvred.com/2009/09/25/austintow...

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6Level_Headed(30 comments)posted 4 years, 11 months ago

Hopefor the valley..
Can you help me out here.. You said TWICE that this is about sports.. I can't find anything to support your comments.. Also, I don't think this is a Tax Levy, I believe it is a bond issue.
And as far as becoming a school... apparently being one of the top 314 best schools in the COUNTRY, did you get that.. COUNTRY.. must mean nothing..
CONGRATULATIONS WATSON ELEMENTARY ON YOUR NATIONAL BLUE RIBBON AWARD.

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7AtownParent(561 comments)posted 4 years, 11 months ago

It is a bond issue. Take a look at the drawings for the new campus and tell me this has nothing to do with sports. The giant focus you see are the THREE brand new soccer fields and TWO new softball fields. Huge, right in the center of campus, and you tell me this is about schools, HA! We wouldn't need new schools if our district MAINTAINED the buildings it currently has. Canfield has a middle school as old as our schools and they still function fully and up to date technologically because that district maintains its buildings. Ours just let them go to crap and expects the taxpayers to bail them out with new buildings.

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8commyliberal(94 comments)posted 4 years, 11 months ago

I want to see new school buildings in Austintown. However, I do not support the "campus" model.

1. I dont want to see such a large elementary population in one building. I believe the K-2 building will not be a good environment for 1200 children. Is it an elementary school or an airport?

2. Did anyone notice the size of the playground areas of the proposed building? The play areas are smaller in the proposed building than in any of the existing buildings BUT the population is twice as large in the proposed elementary building than in Watson, the largest existing elementary building. How are 1200 K-2 students going to have recess?

3. Busing. How much more is all the extra busing going to cost this district over time? Students will need to be bused from K-10th grade. Currently with the neighborhood schools at least half of the students at the elementary buildings are walkers. Busing is an operating expense and not covered on the bond levy.

4.Transition plan. The district want to reopen Davis Elementary (capacity 350) and send Watson students to Davis. Davis is too small to hold all of the Watson students ( 450 students), Davis has a bad roof, Davis has been left to rot for two years. It is going to take 4 years to get the new elementary building completed. How much will it cost the district to repair Davis for habitation and bus all the Watson students to Davis? What about the roof, this was the reason given for closing this building. This expense is not covered in the bond levy.

5. Traffic; the traffic congestion at the "campus" is considerable. What is going to happen when an additional 1000 children are added to the campus?

6. Parking; Frank Ohl,(population 700) cannot have an all school event because the parking is not adequate. So where will anyone park when we move 1000 additional students to the campus? maybe those soccer fields wont make the final cut.

Will Austintown support an additional operating levy to pay for all the expenses the bond levy doesn't cover?

Are we purchasing new buildings or a white elephant? Is this the best our community can achieve?

I propose we redo this plan. We can build four K-5 buildings (neighborhood schools) and partner with the YMCA or St. E's and build a community center at the campus. I would like to see a community indoor pool & an indoor soccer field. Why drive to Boardman or Niles to swim in the winter? Why drive to Struthers and/or Cortland for winter soccer?

We can do better for our money! We can bring a greater benefit to more of our citizens.

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9Level_Headed(30 comments)posted 4 years, 11 months ago

Ok, say we all vote against the bond isue. .
THEN, will we support the levy that will be needed to raise the full amount necessary for repairs to all the schools (Which, I believe, will be MORE that what we will need for the bond) Just remember, included in the bond, there are monies for upkeep of the new buildings.

This is what it may come down to, and we know what happened the last time we were left to plan for our financial future in relation to the schools.
The residents of Austintown PROMISED to pass the last levy in order to keep open enrollment away. Then, they voted against it, and open enrollment is now here in our district, and people are surprised.. Why?? We were told what would happen, and what we needed to do to keep open enrollment out of Austintown.

Please make sure you attend an informational meeting regarding the bond before voting either way. Ask questions, but LISTEN to the answers, too many times people attend these meetings, ask a question, then do not even make an effort to hear the answer, let alone listen to the answer, then complain that they are being ignored.
Become informed...it is what we want our kids to be, why should we be anything less.

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10prodgodq(149 comments)posted 4 years, 11 months ago

level headed: Thank you. I've been looking for a sane response. Do you know when the next info meeting is?
thx.

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11AKAFR1(322 comments)posted 4 years, 11 months ago

If the school board managed taxpayer's money better and did not spend it on higher salaries, they would have sufficient tax revenue to cover the bonds for building new schools. They choose to spend it on salaries and then return to the taxpayer when additional needs arise. If you have not guessed, my vote will be NO.

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12AtownParent(561 comments)posted 4 years, 11 months ago

If you truly believe that approving the levy would have stopped open enrollment, then you have been chugging the kool-aid the board serves.

The bond issue DOES NOT have any monies in it for the upkeep of buildings. It is for new construction. Originally it was planned that the bond would cover upgrades to Fitch and the new AMS (yes, why would we need upgrades to a new building???) but the OSFC said No, only new construction. Secondly, if we did not spend 500,000 to build the new board office, it would have covered the roof to Davis. Plus that, if we had followed OSFC guidelines in building AMS, we would have recouped some of those funds for upkeep. The BOE did neither.

You say go to the meetings and listen. I say go to the meetings and listen but don't take anything at face value because more often then not it is an illusion. The truth is being hidden by innuendos and slight of hand. Do your own research. Ask your own questions. Don't just take what they spoon feed you as fact.

The money used to build the new bus garage could have been used for upkeep. Actually, if they ever sold the old AMS, they could use that money. Do you know how much time, money and effort could have been saved if they had just repaired the Davis roof YEARS ago when they first knew about the roof issues? Now they have to come full circle and try and get the building back up to standard HA! Oh, and then the funny part is to not send the kids that actually live in the neighborhood back to that school (saving on busing) they would send the Watson kids there HA HA! Does that sound like smart financial decisions by the people who want 26 million dollars handed to them on a silver platter???

Commyliberal is right, we can do better for our money and bring a bigger benefit.

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13valleyred(1097 comments)posted 4 years, 11 months ago

VOTE NO!

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14metz87(884 comments)posted 4 years, 11 months ago

If yu are dumb enough to bleive what they are saying fine vote yes jsut don't expect you to like the results. When it takes you a hour to go for one end of Idaho oad to the other don't be surpsied. Or when 30 years form now the schools look like a dumb do to propoerty damage and almsot no maintnace. They only tell you what they want to,no negatives. It is what congress does all the time,why look at all the god this will do,oh but whatabout the cost and the liitle detals. Let's jsut not tell people about that. They lie,we see it and we vote it down. They never will learn so things will ever change.

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