Canfield, Poland school districts go back to the drawing board after bond issues fail
"It was a rough one," says Canfield schools superintendent Joe Knoll.
Tuesday night's election wasn't what he had in mind.
Voters shut down a 7.5 mill bond levy that would've paid for a new pre-K through fourth grade school, a new middle school and renovations to the current high school.
That left Knoll and the school board to meet Wednesday night to try to figure out a workaround.
They have time, with a March 19th ballot option, and the chance to go back to voters next November.
"(We had) a special needs resolution which talks about borrowing, that had to be done before November 20," said Knoll. "The board approved that...to allow us to have something in March if the board chooses."
While there aren't many specifics, the board laid the foundation for what could be an uncertain future.
A meeting across town in Poland sounded much the same.
Voters there said 'no' to a 12.1 mill bond issue that would've yielded $105 million for new schools.
It sent a clear message - make do with what you've got.
"We're going to have to make some decisions whether to take a grade level out and moving them to one of our buildings such as Dobbins (Elementary), or reopening Union (Elementary) school and re-shifting some grade levels around," said superintendent Craig Hockenberry.
One possible scenario included breaking up grade levels and assigning them to certain buildings.
In both cases, time is of the essence.
"Things have to start getting in motion here pretty soon to abate some of the overloads and talk about some of the repairs, prioritize and talk about some of the things that need done," Hockenberry said.
"OK, you know, the people have spoken, we understand that...but like I said, the issues aren't getting any better," said Knoll.
Two districts facing similar financial woes, each having to forge its own unique path forward.