Preliminary results show that voters in the Beachwood City School District approved a 3.95-mill bond issue to fund a $65 million construction project to build two new elementary schools, replacing the Bryden and Hilltop schools, and update the Fairmount Early Childhood Center.
“With the approval of this bond issue, the Beachwood community is investing in education for its future generations. We will now be able to maintain our tradition of educational excellence and provide the inspiring, high-quality, and secure facilities our students and staff deserve,” said Dr. Robert P. Hardis, Superintendent.
The 37-year bond issue will cost $138.25 per year for each $100,000 of the county auditor’s appraised value of a home. In April, Beachwood City Council agreed to pause levying the City’s 2.4 charter mills for up to three years following the successful passage of the bond issue. The property tax partnership will maintain a flat tax rate for residents and businesses at the current 5.68 total bond and charter millage rate.
“This tax partnership demonstrates the collaborative spirit with which the District and City approach economic development,” said Treasurer Michele Mills. “We view this arrangement as a win-win-win for commercial and residential taxpayers, the city, and Beachwood Schools.”
Last year, the District developed a master plan with input from hundreds of community members to construct two new elementary facilities at their current locations – a new 62,500 square-foot Bryden Elementary for kindergarten through second grade and a new 66,300 square-foot Hilltop Elementary for grades three through five. In addition, Fairmount Early Childhood Education Center was slated for significant upgrades.
Community engagement will continue to be a priority throughout the design phase. The Board of Education is planning a series of input sessions over the coming months with residents, staff, and city officials. In previous community input sessions, Beachwood residents expressed a desire for more public recreational facilities and green spaces, new playgrounds, and public meeting spaces for seniors and community groups.
“Community engagement will be essential to the design of facilities and grounds that serve the entire Beachwood community,” said Board of Education President Megan Walsh. “The Board will work diligently to ensure fiscal responsibility throughout the design and construction of these capital assets and oversee that the project is delivered on time and on budget.”