River View organizing town hall meetings

| September 30, 2016

WARSAW – River View has scheduled town hall community meetings to discuss the district’s building needs. Meetings will be from 6 to 8 p.m. on the following days: Thursday, Oct. 13 – Conesville Elementary; Tuesday, Oct. 18 – River View High School; Monday, Oct. 24 – Union Elementary; and Thursday, Oct. 27 – Keene Elementary.

“What we learned from our failed bond attempt in August was that our community in no way could support the particular issue we put in front of them,” said Superintendent Dalton Summers. “Since that time many, many more people have contacted us with their concerns and about why they couldn’t support the issue. We’ve found that a large number of voters and community members weren’t completely aware of the conditions of our buildings and had ideas they wanted to give in lieu of building buildings. Whether those ideas are possible or not isn’t the point. The point is that people came out after our first attempt and we decided instead of trying to run another issue the same way we’d attempt these community meetings.”

River View Local School District’s bond issue and tax levy was soundly defeated by voters during a special election on Aug. 2. Forty-four percent of eligible voters turned out for the election and 2,950 of them voted no and 757 voted yes. If the bond issue and tax levy would have passed, River View would have closed all four of its existing elementary buildings and placed students in one new building that would have been attached to the junior high school. The junior high school and high school also would have received renovations to today’s codes and the Ohio School Facilities Commission (OSFC) standards. Nineteen percent of the project would have been paid for by the Ohio School Facilities Commission and the rest would have been funded by tax payers. The state’s share would have been $9,020,226 and the local share would have been $43,456,780.

The school district could have put the bond issue and tax levy back on the November ballot, but decided not to and instead is focusing on going back to the public. The purpose of these upcoming town hall meetings is to both inform the public about current facility problems and needs as well as listen to potential solutions and ideas on how to address them.

“We want to educate anyone who is willing to listen on what the actual issues are and why we feel they are major concerns of ours,” Summers said. “We also want to listen to people and have them tell us what their thoughts are. They might even be able to give us more specific reasons as to why they couldn’t support our first issue. We are well aware of the financial constraints of our last plan but to formulate our next one we need to get more people to come out. I definitely encourage people to attend one of these four meetings.”

There will be members of the board of education, school administration, architects and RV Steering Committee members on hand at the meetings to both present and listen. There will be an assigned moderator to help keep the meetings on task and productive.

The goals of the RV Steering Committee are:

  • All suggestions and ideas are to be focused on what is best for our kids
  • How can we find solutions to make our facilities safer for kids
  • How can we make our facilities more financially efficient
  • How can we create a 21st century learning environment for our kids

Summers also wants to remind the community that problems with their buildings aren’t going to go away.

“We are using money to maintain these (aging) buildings that we should be using to provide an education and the standard of education has increased greatly from what most of us needed to know and learn when we were in school,” he said. “We need to put our resources into helping our students learn and not into buildings that already don’t meet standards.”

If you have any questions, call the administrative office at 740-824-3521.

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Category: Education

About the Author ()

I started my journalism career in 2002 with a daily newspaper chain. After various stops with them, I am happy to be back home! I graduated from Coshocton High School in 1998 and received a Bachelor of Arts in Communication in 2002 from Walsh University. I also earned several awards while working for daily papers, including being honored by Coshocton County’s veterans for the stories I wrote about them. I am honored and ready to once again shine a positive light on Coshocton County. I also am the proud mother of a little girl named Sophia!

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