menu Home
Local News

Facilities master plan unveiled for New Phila schools

| April 25, 2024
ThenDesign Educational Planner Cheryl Fisher shares the New Philadelphia school district's latest building replacement proposal.

NEW PHILADELPHIA (WJER) (April 24, 2024) – City school district voters will likely be deciding on a $72-million bond issue in November.

That’s how much the school system needs to construct a new pre-K-6 building on the South School property and one for older students later on at a site yet to be determined. Community meetings have been taking place since late last year to shape the plan that ThenDesign Educational Planner Cheryl Fisher unveiled Wednesday evening.

“This is a long-term, districtwide master plan. This is what you as a group has identified as the future for our school facilities in the New Philadelphia community.”

The district would have to construct the first building without any immediate state aid but would get reimbursed for 56-percent of the eligible costs through a program that will pay for same share of the second. High School Band Director Jeff Furbay took part in Wednesday’s meeting and shared his thoughts.

“I think if we say something as simple – and I think I said this a couple of months ago – as ‘buy one get one free.’ I don’t care where you’re gonna build. You’re getting it for free or 56 percent.”

Some participants were against taking the next step before finding a home for the new 7-12 building. Superintendent Amy Wentworth explained why they feel that moving forward now is in the district’s best interest.

“We actually researched this fact: Bond issues have a much, much higher success rate during a presidential election than during a non-presidential election. So if we can take advantage of that timing, historically that has played into the benefit of districts.” 

The anticipated bond issue is 5.9 mills, or around $17.25 per month for every $100,000 of home value. For it to appear before voters in November, the school board will need to pass three resolutions between now and August 7th. 

CORRECTION: We’ve updated this story after learning that a quote included in the original version was transcribed incorrectly. 

Written by