Voters to Decide on Future of Batavia Schools

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Voters to Decide on Future of Batavia Schools

The proposed layout for the completed Bulldog Place campus.

The proposed layout for the completed Bulldog Place campus.

The proposed layout for the completed Bulldog Place campus.

The proposed layout for the completed Bulldog Place campus.

Kimmy Fuhrman, Investigative Reporter

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Something is coming up that will affect everyone’s future at Batavia. On November 6th, Election Day, citizens of Batavia will head to the polls to cast their vote for a proposed tax levy in support of building new schools and renovating existing facilities here at Bulldog Place. You might have heard about the new levy idea – but why is this important to you?

Our school’s principal, Mr. Derickson, and our schools superintendent, Mr. Millard were kind enough to sit down for an interview about the levy, and both administrators provided great information for the students at Batavia and the community in general.

First off, what is the levy idea? The purpose behind the proposed levy is all about planning for the future of learning in Batavia. The proposal suggests taking the elementary school, middle school, and high school and put them all on the same campus. Under this plan, Batavia High School will be converted into a community building including space for the Board of Education, sports meetings, a campus based health clinic and resources for other groups in the community that need space to meet. Our Bulldog community has always been connected, but this community center will really work to bring all Batavians – students, parents, and community members – together. This levy would not only allow for the students to be closer, but it would really make some improvements to the students learning. The new school would make room for new technology and learning spaces that would allow easier access to the tools we need. As the years go on, technology and learning ideas are advancing quickly meaning that our schools need to do the same. The levy is exactly what would help us do that. 

The proposed layout for the completed Bulldog Place campus.

The plan suggests that the old high school (our current school) will be turned into a community building with plenty of space. The new high school would be placed next to our current high school, and the new middle school will be where the current practice fields are. Even the new elementary school will receive some additions to accommodate future growth. But the plan extends to more than just buildings. This completed campus would also have new multi-purpose fields, providing a convenient space to take advantage for a majority of Bulldog athletics.

Unfortunately, the current Batavia schools are too small for the amount of students we have and plan to have, and their current design makes security complicated. Having enough space for the activities and learning that we need is important. And with as important as security is right now, it is not something that should be skipped over. The high school and middle school is just too old to reach our full potential security wise. The new schools will make a big difference in that. The new middle and high school will allow for the resources needed to have our security meet the recommended standards for protecting students.

The administration paints an optimistic picture: imagine never worrying about whether or not you are going to have enough room for sports practices and games. Imagine having a room dedicated to having your own space to work or meet up with your school groups. Imagine having a bigger classroom with plenty of space to move around. Imagine not having to worry about whether or not you’re going to be able to find a space to work alone or even with study groups. However, the levy’s passage is far from certain. Despite the benefits for students, teachers, and parents, ultimately the community must make the decision for the direction they want their school system to move in the future. While this levy will make it easier to implement more advanced learning, grow our athletics programs, and plan for future expansion, some argue that the cost is still steep. The state of Ohio is offering to match a significant portion of the funds for the project, but the Batavia community will have to decide how to plan and invest their tax revenue. This bond poses the potential to be a whole new start for the Batavia district, and could spell a new beginning for the community. However, the decision rests with the voters – so go cast your ballot!

A common sign from supporters around the district.