THESE ARE some of the best times and some of the most troubling times in the Switzerland of Ohio School District.
Ground has just been broken for another school building in the district -- this being Skyvue Elementary School. Skyvue students are deserving of a new facility, as the current venue has long outlived its usefulness.
It marks the latest in a string of construction projects throughout the expansive district, being paid for courtesy of a school levy which triggered in state funding. All told, the Switzerland of Ohio School District is realizing more than an $80 million facelift.
"This is the start of the final page of providing quality, 21st century schools for our students. Now all of our students will have up-to-date schools very soon," said Superintendent Larry Elliott.
Many of the district's students are already attending classes in new schools, such as Beallsville, Monroe Central and Powhatan Point. Every school building was either targeted to be replaced by a new structure or undergo major renovation.
If any district needed such an overhaul, Swizterland of Ohio was the one.
Unfortunately, the excitement generated by new schools is tempered by the financial state of the district. It is in dire straits to say the least.
The school district has another levy on the May 7 ballot. While the levy to spawn construction was landmark for the district, the upcoming one may carry even greater importance.
The levy, should it pass, would generate funding to avoid massive cuts throughout the district. Staffing would be reduced, academic programs eliminated, transportation adversely altered with athletics being saddled with major hardships.
A levy defeat May 7 drastically changes the scope of operations within the school district in negative fashion.
Switzerland of Ohio students are deserving to attend school in state-of-the-art buildings. The looming question is what type of educational package will they be presented?