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Master Planning Process

The Upper Arlington community came together over the course of two and a half years to craft a long-term, financially sensible master plan for our aging schools. Our school buildings were, on average, more than 60 years old, and the cost to repair and maintain them was continuing to rise. This community-centered process was launched in 2015 in an effort to control those costs and prevent classroom funds from being diverted to cover facilities needs.Throughout the 2015-2017 facilities master planning process, thousands of residents shared their thoughts on the best path forward for our aging schools by volunteering on a building team, taking an online survey, attending a community meeting or hosting or attending one of the 100 small-group coffee chats. 

The result of this community feedback was the master plan, finalized by the Board of Education in May 2017. The master plan outlined rebuilding the high school, renovating or rebuilding the five elementary schools and repairing the middle schools and Burbank Early Childhood School. It also outlined a two-phase implementation, with the first phase consisting of work at the high school and the elementary schools as well as addressing drainage issues and installing a turf field and baseball/softball diamonds on district-owned property behind Tremont Elementary School. The master plan also called for the largest private fundraising effort in the history of the district to offset the cost to homeowners. 

Based on the feedback from the community, Treasurer/CFO Andrew Geistfeld recommended in May of 2017 that the Board of Education pursue a $230 million bond issue combined with a 3.75-mill operating levy for the November 7, 2017, ballot.

During the June 6 meeting, the Board of Education unanimously approved the first of two resolutions required to place the combined bond issue and operating levy on the November 7, 2017, ballot.

Community members and a student gathered at boards during a feedback exercise in the master planning process

During June 28 meeting, the Board of Education approved the second resolution required to place the combined operating levy and bond issue on the November 7 ballot.

On November 7, Upper Arlington voters endorsed rebuilding the high school and renovating or rebuilding all five elementary schools in a vote of 55% to 45% for Issue 43. The bond issue, at an additional 5.17 mills of debt service, funded the first phase of the master plan. The 3.75-mill operating levy allowed the district to continue offering the high-quality academic programs our community expects for its students. Combined, these issues added approximately $312 a year in property taxes per $100,000 of home valuation (market value) as determined by the Franklin County auditor.

Learn more about the Productivity and Efficiency Work Group and each phase of the facilities master planning process below.