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Superintendent Talbert presents financing options for new facilities

On Wednesday, Canton City Schools Superintendent Jeff Talbert presented an updated future facilities plan to the Board of Education for consideration at its December 19th meeting. Included in this presentation were a cost analysis and funding options.
  If fully implemented, the plan will result in two new elementary buildings, a K-6 configuration for all elementary buildings, and a modern new McKinley High School on the current downtown campus. The district will discontinue its use of the Fairmount, Dueber, and Schreiber buildings, the existing McKinley building, along with the Business Service Center. (The district will continue its use of Tom Benson Stadium, the Natatorium, Memorial Fieldhouse, and the new Turk Alberta locker rooms and training facility.)
 The cost of the total plan is now determined to be $142.9 million, which includes items such as fees, engineering, testing, furnishings, property acquisition, abatement, and demolition. This is about one million dollars more than initially anticipated for the two elementary schools and about $20 million more than originally projected for the high school.
   In order to finance the plan, Talbert is recommending that the district ask voters to replace the 4.3 bond that falls off at the end of 2023 with a 4.35 bond issue, and add a 4.52 permanent improvement levy. The bond issue would generate $60 million and the additional levy would generate $80 million.
  “This is an opportune time to move forward and take advantage of the mature bond,” he explained. “It is unlikely that there will ever be another time that we can build two new elementary buildings and a new high school with a tax increase of under 5 mills.”
  The financing would be presented as one ballot issue of 8.87 mills, an increase of 4.57 mills. It would cost the owner of a $100,000 home an additional $160 per year.
  “Let me emphasize that nearly half of this project will be paid for taxes already levied. If we miss this opportunity, the community will have to pick up the entire 8.87 mills or more as prices rise,” Talbert said. 
  Talbert also offered the board two other plan options: build either the two new elementary schools and move forward with a neighborhood school structure, or only the new high school and keep the school configurations in their current state.
  “We want to be fiscally responsible, so I felt that it is the responsible thing to do to give the board and the community options,” Talbert said. “However, I believe we have put together a comprehensive plan that works for our community and takes the Canton City School District far into the future.”
  The board will consider the options and vote on a plan at their regular meeting on December 19 at 6 p.m. Questions and comments can be emailed to

To view Superintendent Talbert’s full presentation, click here: