LAFAYETTE TWP. — In 2007, Medina County voters approved a 0.5 percent sales tax increase for county school districts for capital improvements.
The school districts use that money for textbooks, buses and construction projects.
More than $10 million in sales tax money was disbursed to county schools in 2017, county commissioners’ records indicate, including $3.2 million in the fourth quarter.
Here’s how much each school district received in the fourth quarter and how it has been using the money.
Superintendent Aaron Sable said the school district has used $1.2 million on upkeep of its facilities in the last year.
“We’re trying to modernize library centers in the district and add STEM spaces for hands-on technology,” he said.
Sable said the district is taking a close look at building needs as far as enrollment is concerned. Waite Elementary School, for instance, is bursting at the seams with students. Canavan, on the other hand, has room for more students.
The Medina superintendent said the district’s full strategic plan has been implemented, which includes all-day kindergarten this fall.
Medina has a $5.2-mill continuous substitute levy on the May ballot.
Superintendent Kent Morgan said several buildings in the district “are in serious need of upkeep and repair.” He said the district’s transportation fleet is aging and new buses will be needed soon.
Buckeye’s strategic plan is expected to be approved this spring. It will implement all-day kindergarten as well in the fall. There will also be a new baseball field in the spring.
The district purchased new buses and every student in the district was provided an electronic device by the school.
“Our goal has always been instruction,” Superintendent Mike Mayell said. “We want our students to go out there and compete with anybody in the world.”
Brunswick passed a bond issue last November for a $65 million state-of-the-art middle school.
“We just hired the architect,” Mayell said. “This building is going to be the largest investment in a building in Brunswick’s history.”
Superintendent Daryl Kubilus said the district constructed a 1,200-student elementary school with sales tax proceeds a few years ago.
“We’ve had to compete for our own kids,” Kubilus said. “I had 14 kids from ECOT transfer back to our brick-and-mortar buildings. Many of them are far behind.”
He said the district is taking a close look at virtual learning.
The district used sales tax funds to help construct Valley View and Isham elementary schools in the last few years.
Superintendent Andrew Hill said the district has implemented several other upgrades, including to the telephone system.
“Being able to access that (sales tax) money has helped us to use general operating funds in a way to support and enhance education for our students,” Hill said.
Medina County Career Center: $104,283
“Our goal over the next 10 years is to renovate our entire building (that was built in 1974) and never go to the taxpayers for a dollar,” Superintendent Steve Chrisman said.
In the last year or so, the career center has renovated its cosmetology, auto technology, auto collision and commercial truck departments.
“This summer will start renovation of a state-of-the-art manufacturing academy,” Chrisman said. “It will be one of the best in the state.”
The superintendent said the career center is trying to do at least $1 million in renovations every year.
Black River: $65,410
Superintendent Chris Clark said the district has upgraded its transportation fleet and its heating and cooling system.
Black River is working on a new community center and field house for the district.
Superintendent Catherine Aukerman said the district has addressed two capital needs in the past year.
Voters approved a $63 million bond issue in November for three new schools “that we desperately needed,” she said. “We’re very excited about that.”
The district covers 78 square miles, which takes it toll on its aging bus fleet.
“We spent $1.1 million on 15 new buses,” Aukerman said.
Four Cities Compact
The funding for the compact comes from each of the high schools — Wadsworth, Norton, Barberton and Copley — for career tech education.
Superintendent Roger Wright said more than $250,000 has been invested in Wadsworth’s robotics and engineering labs.
Contact reporter Bob Finnan at (330) 721-4049 or firstname.lastname@example.org.