Northeastern Local Schools Board of Education members remain uncertain if they will go back to the ballot in May after voters in November rejected a plan to build $117 million new schools.
If the board wants to go on the ballot in May, the deadline is early February.
The board member will discuss their options over the next month, board President Chris James said, but don’t want to make any decisions until new board members are sworn in. James and board Vice President Jeff Caivano didn’t run for re-election and will be replaced by John Crankshaw and Jeff Yinger.
Voters shot down a school bond issue in November that would have constructed two pre-k through 12th grade buildings on either side of the district. One building would have been built near South Vienna School and the other would have been built by Kenton Ridge High School.
The district had ask voters to approve a 37-year, $77 million bond issue then that would allow it to build two new schools to replace its aging ones. The state had pledged $40 million to the project had district voters pass the bond. The two high schools, both aging buildings — Northeastern was built in 1952 while Kenton Ridge was built in 1976.
District leaders have said repeatedly that the district must replace its aging schools. Northeastern is the last district in Clark County to have two high schools and is the second largest in Clark County with about 3,300 students. Northeastern Local School Superintendent John Kronour said about 2,200 students attend Kenton Ridge and its feeder schools, while about 1,100 go to Northeastern and its feeder schools.
“This upcoming building levy is of the utmost importance to the future of our schools,” said one resident. “I have paid school taxes before I had children and I voted yes for every school tax that came on the ballot even when I really did not have the extra money. That’s because public education is that important.”
The district released renderings of what the schools might look like. Northeastern would be 188,000 square feet while Kenton Ridge would need 265,000 square feet.
There are 19 precincts across the Northeastern district. A review of precinct voting data from the Clark County Board of Elections shows 14 of them rejected the bond. But of those 14, five were decided by 3 percent or less.