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Campaign for Indian Creek levy kicks off

The millage increase would pay for three items: a new high school, a new elementary school and renovations at the elementary site in Mingo Junction.

The Indian Creek School District is rallying volunteers for its new levy campaign.

The millage increase would be for new school buildings.

Volunteers met Thursday night in Wintersville to plan how to reach parents and voters.

The levy campaign from the fall failed by 166 votes. Data showed elementary parents staying home, and nearly half of voters in the district under 50 have never voted in a primary.

This time, district officials and parents are hoping the argument for increased security hits home with voters.

District officials and volunteers are hoping voters give the green light to a levy increase on the May 8 ballot. The millage increase has been reduced from the failed fall campaign from 6.5 mils to 6.1 mils. For a $100,000 home without a homestead exemption, the monthly tax increase would be about $18.

"Our kids really, really need a new school,” said Indian Creek Schools teacher Tom Mort. “I teach outside in the portables."

The portables along with more than a dozen entrances at the high school are a challenge to secure.

"I’ve seen the schools and they're definitely deteriorating,” said parent April Stellefox. You can definitely tell that they need help and love. They need the money to fix up all the schools.”

The millage increase would pay for three items: a new high school, a new elementary school and renovations at the elementary site in Mingo Junction. That would upgrade heating and cooling and install accommodations for students who are disabled.

"Plus I want the security,” Stellefox said. “Right now, there's a lot of bad stuff going on at schools. If we beefed up security even more and had the money to do that. Maybe (fewer) doors, things of that nature, maybe there will be less likelihood of something tragic happening."

"With the incidents that have been going on, we just had one down in Florida, and I pray for those people every day because of their loss,” said parent Robert Martin. “I don't want to see that here at this school. That's something no parent wants to experience."

"I think it's crucial that we try to get this passed this time so we give the kids what they deserve,” said business owner Anthony Mougiaris.

"It's for the kids,” Mort said. “Please get out and vote."

Voters don't have to be registered with a political party to vote in the primary for a ballot item.

In the meantime, there are more outreach events scheduled next week at the two elementary schools:

March 13, Literacy Night at Wintersville Elementary 5:30 – 7:30 p.m.

March 15, Family Fun Night, Hills Elementary 5:00 – 7:00 p.m.

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