(Gnadenhutten, Ohio) – The Indian Valley Local School District is asking voters to approve a bond issue that would pave the way for a new stadium.
Superintendent lists the following reasons as to why the Bond Issue is needed:
“There are multiple parallel needs that have lead to his request,” explained Superintendent Ira Wentworth. “First and foremost, our track was installed in 2000 and rated to last 8-10 years. We’ve got 18 years out of it and it is beyond time for a replacement.
To be able to host championship-level track meets such as for a conference championship or OHSAA tournament meet, the track must be at least 8-lanes [and] our current track is 6-lanes and the current site does not have enough room to expand to an 8-lane track.
Other needs include inadequate locker room space at the current stadium in Midvale as well as the high school in Gnadenhutten and inadequate space in the current weight room.
Another issue at the current stadium site is the lack of space for parking. Indian Valley owns 10-11 acres in Midvale, which includes the elementary school and playground. When you consider the stadium facility is there too, there is not much space left for parking. This inhibits Indian Valley from hosting band shows as well as, considering the number of buses and equipment trailers that bands travel with.
The new facility in Gnadenhutten would be situated on approximately 19 acres, which would be accommodate space for parking, an 8-lane track, a turf field, bleachers, and a multi-purpose building that would include locker rooms, a weight room, and indoor training space to do agility drills, practice skills, and other strength training routines.
All of our facilities are either new or have been renovated since 2007. All facilities except for the stadium. This would be the final piece of a master’s facility improvement plan that the district has worked on over the last 10-15 years.”
Wentworth noted that it is important for voters to remember this is a bond issue and not a levy. Bond issues are like mortgage loans for homeowners. Individuals don’t typically have $100,000 cash to go buy a new home, so they go to the bank, get a loan and pay it back over time. “That’s what the request is for, practically speaking, a mortgage loan for a new stadium project,” said Wentworth. “The district would get $7 million dollars from bond investors and pay that back over a period of 28 years. Money from this request can only be spent on the construction of a new stadium. Those tax dollars cannot, by law, be used for anything else.”
Passage of the bond issue would not increase taxes. “Actually, taxes will go down even if Issue 5 is passed, but ever so slightly,” added Wentworth. “For the owner of a $100,000 home, the 1994 bond issue collects $6.13 per month. However; the new bond issue will only collect $5.84 per month for that same homeowner, which is actually a decrease of $0.29 per month.”
He also noted that the Board of Education began considering a stadium project as far back as 2014, but decided on improving school safety measures first. “That decision actually worked out for this project too with the 1994 bond issue expiring.”
“This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to upgrade facilities to this magnitude without increasing the current tax rate,” added Wentworth. “It would be sad for the thousands for students who will benefit from this project for years to come if this opportunity slips by.”
More information on this issue can be found here.