Collins Career Center levy up for vote

Published 12:00 am Sunday, October 24, 2010

Lawrence County voters will decide if Collins Career Center will be able to increase the size of its building in the near future.

A half-mil permanent improvement levy for the Lawrence County Joint Vocational School District, also known as Collins Career Center, is up for a vote in the November election.

The levy had been on the tax books for 15 years before coming off in 2009. The vocational school district attempted to put it on the ballot for the May primary election but the levy was decertified because of a wording error.

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The levy would be used to help fund the school’s part of a $22 million renovation project. The Ohio Schools Facilities Commission would pay 75 percent of the project and the center would pay the other 25 percent.

Superintendent Steve Dodgion said the renovation project would be an 11,000 square foot addition to its Getaway location.

“The 11,000 square feet is not going to be in one place, it may be done in several places, just wherever,” Dodgion said. “We’re trying to get a building where we can effectively educate 550 kids. That’s where we are.”

At the same time the levy went off the books, the state froze funding for career centers. The freeze is still in effect today.

“We’re operating on 2008 levels and holding over 100 additional kids,” Dodgion said.

As it is the school is using four mobile classrooms and space is an issue, he said.

The levy would generate $356,870 per year. For a homeowner with property worth $50,000, the levy would cost $7.66 per year. For a homeowner with $100,000 worth of property, the levy would cost $15.32 each year.

For a homeowner with $150,000 worth of property, the levy would cost $22.98 per year.

Dodgion said the school has been a vital part of the county’s economy and he believes the outcome of the vote will be positive.

“I have all the confidence in the world of the voters of Lawrence County,” he said.