525 E. Main Street
Hebron, OH 43025
P: 740-928-5878
F: 740-928-3152
AP District Honor Roll Purple Star

We are a community of learners inspiring each student to explore, grow, and achieve.

Bond and Levy Information

New Elementary School Bond

On January 13, 2021, the Lakewood Local Board of Education unanimously voted 5-0 to approve the final resolution to proceed with the bond issue for the new elementary school. 

  • The bond issue is for a new Pre-K through 5th grade elementary school. 

  • It will generate $31,300,000 at an estimated 2.65 mills. 

  • The cost for the owner of a $100,000 home is $92.70 per year. 


  • The Hebron and Jackson facilities do not provide the educational spaces our young Lancers need.

  • We continue to look for ways to be fiscally responsible and investing money in maintaining the aging buildings is not the best use of funds.
  • Historically low interest rates mean that the cost per homeowner is lower than when the bond issue has been on the ballot in the past, making it a better value for taxpayers. The owner of a $100,000 home would save $40 each year compared to when the issue was on the ballot in the Spring of 2020.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Why is a new elementary school needed?

The aging facilities at Hebron and Jackson don't provide the educational spaces needed to support learning in 2021. The classrooms are small which doesn't allow for learning centers and small group work, there are issues with adequate power to support today's technology, the buildings don't have safe entry areas, at Jackson, students travel between buildings which also presents safety concerns, and maintaining the aging facilities is expensive.

We explored renovations for each building and found that the costs would be almost as high as building a new building and the life of the buildings would only be extended for about 15 - 20 years. Building new addresses all of the challenges the aging buildings present and provides a building that will last for at least 50 years, making it a smarter use of taxpayer money. 

2. How did the district decide to build a new school rather than renovate existing buildings?

The Elementary Planning Team, led by architects specializing in educational facilities and including community members, staff, and students, worked together over several months to explore options to address aging elementary school facilities and educational goals for the future of Lakewood schools. During the study, it was determined that the cost to renovate the school would be more than 80% of the cost to build new. A new building is expected to last for 50 years. The OFCC (Ohio Facilities Construction Commission) recommends building new when the cost to renovate is 66% or greater than the cost to build new. This information led the Elementary Planning Team to recommend building new and the School Board decided that was the best solution.

3. I want to help with the levy. How do I get involved?

Thank you for your interest in supporting the levy. Please send an email to the Lancer Pride Levy Committee at [email protected]

4. What are the cost and terms of the levy?

The bond issue on the March ballot is for $31,300,000 over 28 years and will be collected at an estimated 2.65 mills. The cost for the owner of a $100,000 is $92.70 per year.

The bond millage is an estimate. Voters are approving the project description, the maximum amount of the bond and the maximum term of the bond. The millage is only an informational item and the tax could change depending on the interest rate at the time the bonds are sold.

5. What is a mill?

A mill is 1/10 of one penny. Ex. A mill produces $1.00 in tax income for every $1000 of assessed property value. Example: A $100,000 home times 35% (the assessment rate) equals assessed property value of $35,000 divided by $1,000 equals $35.00 per mill. $35.00 times 3.9 mills equal $136.50 per year.  

6. What is the process to design and build the elementary school when the bond is approved?

When the bond passes, the district will hire an architect and design firm. The design firm will engage district stakeholders, gather information from previous facilities assessments, and initiate design input meetings. It’s important that our community has input into the features and design of our new elementary school.

7. How will the district choose an architect?

The district will follow an outlined selection process to choose an architect.  That process includes:
  • Advertising that we are seeking qualified design professionals.
  • Interviewing the firms so they can share their philosophies with respect to project delivery and working with the Board; their practices with respect to quality control measures for the drawings and specifications; and the firm’s approach to construction administration.
  • When an architect is selected, the Board will approve the awarding of the contract to the chosen architect.

8. How does the district choose a builder?

Once the final design plans are complete, the project is placed for public bidding. 

9. How will the district ensure that the project will not be over budget?

We are planning conservatively for the construction of the new school by planning at the high end of the estimated cost and planning for contingencies. Additionally, we will use a Construction Manager at Risk (CM-R) program. This allows us to establish a Guaranteed Maximum Price before we begin the construction. That price is the aligned upon cost of the project. At that point, the CM-R would cover any project costs that are driven by errors, corrections or contractor-driven changes. The district would be responsible for any district driven changes or unforeseen conditions of the site. Funds to cover district costs would come from the district’s contingency budget that is planned into the construction cost.

10. What will students do while the new building is being constructed?

Students will remain in their current buildings during the construction of the new elementary school. This reduces the cost of construction as the District does not have to pay for modular classrooms while in construction like many other districts are forced to do.

11. How old is the Hebron building?

The original building was built in 1914 with a gym addition in 1934 and classroom additions in 1952, 1954 and 1956.

12. When was Jackson Intermediate built?

Jackson A was constructed in 1968. Jackson B was constructed in 1972 with additions in 1973, 1974, 1975 and 1976.

13. Why does the district plan to tear down Jackson?

When the OFCC estimated renovation and new construction costs at Jackson, their recommendation was to build new. The renovation cost was 91% of the cost to build new. The Jackson facility, while not as old as Hebron, has significant issues including a leaking roof, leaking foundation, inconsistent heating and cooling, electrical problems, multiple buildings requiring 3rd-grade students to travel outside for gym, lunch, and specials, as well as significantly smaller classrooms than the state standard. Additionally, having all Pre-K – 5th-grade students in one building significantly reduces operating costs (for example, one kitchen instead of two) and reduces student transitions between buildings.

14. Is the central office moving to the “main campus” as well?

This plan does not include moving the central office to the “main campus.”  The priority of the bond issue is to build a new elementary school. Our students are the main focus, not the administrative team.

15. Why does the district give tax abatements?

Many abatements do not require the approval of the District, however, from time to time the District is asked to approve tax incentives for businesses. In that case, offering the abatements encourages businesses to move into the district. That means more jobs for the people in our community as soon as the business moves in and, while the property tax benefits for our District may be delayed, we will receive taxes from those businesses in the future. 

16. What percentage of total property taxes do local businesses in the district pay?

Almost a third of the district property taxes collected are paid by businesses located in the community. Therefore, about a third of the taxes needed for the bond issue will come from local businesses as well. As business continues to grow in the community, they could further offset taxes from residents needed to repay the bonds.

17. When will Lakewood High School be paid off?

Lakewood High School will be paid off in December 2026. This is a separate tax levy assessment that will no longer be paid after that time. Today, residents are paying 1.7 mills for the high school bonds. A taxpayer with a $100,000 home value will see a reduction in taxes of $39.50 per year.

18. Why is the district using a property tax increase to pay for the new school?

We understand that no one likes to see their taxes increase, that’s why we involved a group of community members in helping to determine the best way to fund a new school. The group met for several months with a financial consultant through the Finance Taskforce to explore different funding options. After learning about how schools are funded, exploring different funding options, and sharing their recommendations with the school board, the school board determined that a property tax was the most affordable and fair way to fund the bond issue. With a property tax, local businesses will pay around 33% of the taxes, bringing down the total cost for our homeowners.
We also reviewed what we can fund through state monies through the Ohio Facilities Construction Commission to release the burden on our local taxpayers. For Fiscal Year 19, our district was ranked 537th out of 610 school districts on the ODE equity rank list (or the 73rd "wealthiest" district) with a local share percentage of 88%. A school district’s priority for state assistance from the OFCC is based on the district’s three-year average “adjusted valuation per pupil.” The lower (higher number) we fall on the ranking, the less likely to be eligible for state money.
The emergency levies, like the one the community approved in November 2019, fund district operations; things like salaries, utilities, maintenance, etc. and are not allowed to be used for the building of a new building. Those monies are what keep the district running. While we will continue to need to renew the operating levies, those levies have not increased, and we do not anticipate needing additional operating funds.

19. How will this one new building benefit kids across the district?

The bond issue will benefit kids across the district by providing a new facility for PreK - 5th grade. Some of the benefits of the bond issue include ADA compliance; maximized instructional time; increased safety of students; improved access to technology; a more comfortable learning environment; more opportunities for teacher collaboration; less upkeep/maintenance compared to older buildings

We’ve also been able to address some areas at the high school and middle school without additional tax dollars. Those improvements include safety vestibules at both buildings, renovated science and life skills labs at the middle school, renovated and added bathrooms at the middle school, and a student success center at the high school to support career and college readiness. 

With the work we’ve completed so far and the work we’ll be able to complete when the bond issue passes, all of our buildings will be in good working condition with air conditioning, classroom spaces that support 21st century learning needs, effective technology infrastructure and flexible spaces that will allow for expansion in the future as needed.  

Additional Information

Community Forum 3.3.21

View the video of the May Bond Issue Community Forum on Facebook.

Why We're on the Ballot

Hear from School Board President, Brittany Misner about why the board decided to put the bond issue for a new elementary school on the ballot this spring.

May 2021 Bond Issue Overview

View text-based website