Voters said “no” to a bond issue creating new schools, which would have been not only more modern, but more handicap accessible.
Leaders say the schools in the district are literally falling apart and they were hoping voters would pass Issue 5 on Tuesday.
“What it was intended to do would have provided $165 million to be able to build three new school buildings and every student in Nordonia would have had a new learning space,” said Liz McKinley, president of the Nordonia Hills City School District.
But according to school officials, the newest building in the district was built in 1970. There are six buildings in the district that serve various communities in Northern Summit County.
School officials say they were ADA compliant, complying with the American with Disabilities Act, at the time they were built.
Now, however, many students with disabilities have problems getting around, especially at the middle school.
One building of heightened concerned is Nordonia Middle School, which is one of the oldest buildings in the district and, even according to school officials, can be hard for students who use wheelchairs or have other disabilities to get around.
“We do have an elevator in the middle school. However, there are more levels because sometimes you’ll have just a couple of levels of steps up or something, but the entire building is not accessible and so there are places when people can miss out,” McKinley said.
Ms. Wheelchair Ohio, Krista Allison, visited the middle school last week, wanting to help the district make mobility easier for students with disabilities, like water fountains that are too high.
“Things are too high. How you access in and out of doors, you might not necessarily know someone’s on the other side,” said school board president McKinley.
Even though the voters said no to the bond issue, the school board president said their buildings are still in much needed repair.
“Because the bond issue failed, it doesn’t mean these buildings’ issues have gone away. The issues within these buildings still exist and we have to make sure we find a way to address these needs,” McKinley said.