Final Open House on Proposed $80M School Construction in St. Clairsville Is Tonight

Architectural renderings show locations of the proposed buildings that would be built if the 8.56-mill, $80 million bond issue for the St. Clairsville- Richland City School District passes in November. Photo Provided

ST. CLAIRSVILLE — Voters in the St. Clairsville-Richland City School District have another opportunity this evening to learn more about the proposed 8.56-mill bond issue appearing on the November ballot.

The levy would raise nearly $80 million for, among other things, a new two-story elementary school; a new high school; renovations to the connector building; and a new fine arts multi-purpose theater.

Build STC, a community organization leading the charge to pass the levy, will host the last of three open houses at 6:30 p.m. inside the St. Clairsville Middle School Auditorium. There, organizers will state their case as to why the measure is needed and why they believe it will benefit the community.

“Our goal is to bring together community members and anyone else interested in learning more about them and the levy and to provide the most-accurate information,” said Sara Myser who, along with Mike Perkins, co-chair the organization.

Build STC has been doing so through various forums, including Twitter, Facebook and a website (buildstc.com) the past few months. But Perkins said the open house allows for more of a one-on-one touch.

“We wanted to have a more personal setting for people to come and hear us and have the opportunity to ask questions,” he said.

Myser, Perkins, St. Clairsville Superintendent Walt Skaggs and other officials are scheduled to be on hand as participants eye drawings of the proposed buildings and improvements and tour the current buildings.

“That way they can see for themselves the need,” Perkins said.

And Myser and Perkins believe the need is great.

“We are limited by our space as a district,” said Myser, a St. Clairsville graduate and now a teacher in the district. “We offer so many programs and we offer so many services, we simply don’t have the space for them. We have services being conducted on stages in the lunch room. We have services happening in storage closets. We have classrooms that used to be storage closets because we simply don’t have the space to accommodate the services and programs we offer.”

Myser went on to say technology and safety standards are also other concerns.

“The buildings now are limited in what they can provide,” she said. “It will offer a 21st century learning environment and a really safe a secure campus. That’s one of the biggest points we like to drive home. This will be a safe and secure campus.”

According to the district, money from the levy will also result in a new field house and replacement of the field turf at Red Devil Stadium, along with resurfacing of the track there. A separate 1.41-mill levy is being placed on the ballot for construction of a natatorium. According to the Build STC website, the field house would include an eight-lane pool, locker rooms and spectator seating.

Myser said the levy would cost $24.97 for owners of a home with a market value of $100,000.

“The need is now,” Perkins said. “The buildings we have now are in disrepair. I think the administration and staff and the community at large do the very best they can with those facilities. But at the point we’re at now, the waiting is over.”

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