The Portsmouth Area Chamber of Commerce is urging voters in Clay Local School District to vote "yes" on March 4, to approve a 6.8-mill bond issue for a new pre-K-12 school, chamber board chairman Michael Gampp said Friday.
"The Clay Local Board of Education passed a resolution to not seek renewal of the current 4.5 permanent improvement levy if the bond issue passes. So keep in mind that the citizens in the district will only see a 2.3 mill increase," Gampp said.
A new school would represent a $21-million investment in the community, with $17 million derived from the state of Ohio, he said.
"It has always been the chamber's goal to support a healthy business climate, and to encourage civic pride and involvement. Therefore, we encourage voters to familiarize themselves with the project and support a plan that will effectively and efficiently meet the needs of today's students," Gampp said.
Schools provide much more than educational services, and are vital to the social well- being of the communities they service, he said.
"No private or public building is as important to a community as a school. Its importance is multidimensional. A new school is a reflection of community values, community character, and schools promote social sustainability. It is also widely recognized that new schools can act as a catalyst for economic development," Gampp said.
The chamber board said in a release Friday, "The chamber's primary motivators for supporting new schools for the Clay Local School District are the children. Children deserve an exceptional education, and you are in the position to provide that to them with a new, completely furnished, safe school."
Gampp concluded, "It is our responsibility as citizens and community leaders to ensure that students have a modern facility in which to learn the skills they need to succeed in life. When you vote to support new schools for the Clay Local School District, you are voting to support Scioto County's future."