ST. CLAIRSVILLE, Ohio (WTRF) - Students in St. Clairsville could be attending brand new schools in a few years if residents vote yes in November's election.
An 8.56 mil levy is on the ballot and a community group called Build STC is advocating for it to pass.
They are holding a series of open houses and tours so the community can see the schools for themselves and learn how this levy could impact students.
"We need to do something," said Build STC Co-Chair Mike Perkins. "Now's the time."
Build STC said the district's school buildings are in poor condition with improper drainage, not enough space and outdated classrooms among other issues, but that can all be fixed with this levy.
"It will give us a new elementary school. It will give us a new high school with gymnasium," said Build STC Co-Chair Sara Myser. "It will renovate the connector building and the current high school gym. It will add a fine arts building which will house our fine arts classes and career tech classes and it will also um build a field house."
The new two-story elementary school will be more than 105,000 square feet. The Build STC website says it will include unique learning spaces, more efficient pick up and drop off routes, a larger cafeteria, a new band room, art rooms and more.
The high school will be 68,000 square feet and have college-style lecture halls, enhanced technology, college credit plus learning spaces, new science labs and a new gym.
A fine-arts multi-purpose theater will seat 750 and host band, choir and theatrical performances. It will also include classrooms, career technology classrooms and space for productions.
That's just a quick overview of the modernized facilities. you can find a detailed list on Build STC's website by clicking here.
A separate 1.41 mil levy will be voted on by the community for a natatorium to include an eight lane pool, locker rooms and seating for spectators.
The group says these plans aren't just about new buildings.
"One of the things we're also trying to achieve with this build is safe and secure campus for all of our schools," Perkins explained. "In order to achieve that we need to do it all at once, as best we can."
The entire facilities project has a price tag of $79,900,000.
For a $100,000 home, the levy will cost around $25 a month in tax increases.
A breakdown of cost by home is available by clicking here.
With a series of open houses, Build STC wants to hear the community's concerns, and help them understand why they feel these upgrades are crucial.
"We're in a position where economically it's probably the best time to do this," Perkins added. "If we wait we're just kicking the can down the road. We're just gonna have more cost and more problems in the interim until we're able to."
Build STC said a lot of people understand the need for new schools.
"Especially if they have children within the district," Myser added. "What we are currently battling is the amount of misinformation that is out there and that's what Build STC is for."
The group feels this doesn't just benefit those families with children.
"I think new school facilities lift the entire community and will provide benefits to everybody that's a resident of St. Clairsville," Perkins said.
As for when these buildings will be finished, it will take some time and will be completed in three phases.
According to Build STC's website, its likely that the renovated connector building and new high school will open in the Fall of the 2021-2022 school year. The elementary school will likely open in the Fall of the 2023-2024 school year and the preforming arts center in the Fall of teh 2024-2025 school year.
Build STC will also be holding open houses on Wednesday, August 29 and Thursday, August 30 at 6:30 p.m. in the middle school auditorium. After a presentation, attendees will be able to ask questions.
For more information on the entire levy, as well as voting information for the November 6 election, visit buildstc.com.
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