This site supports the work of a community working together to determine the best facility options for Monroe Local School District. Click below to view meeting notes and/or presentations from public input meetings as they occur.
From the Superintendent
As many of you know, Monroe Local School District has been dealing with enrollment growth and significant overcrowding in our school buildings since long before I arrived in the district in 2021. Districtwide enrollment has nearly doubled since our main campus was completed, from 1,515 students in 2004 to more than 2,900 students today.
Planning for the Future
The school district has been working with the Ohio Facilities Construction Commission (OFCC) since 2015 to discuss our overcrowded school buildings and a plan to move our facilities project forward. Last year, Monroe entered into a formal agreement with the OFCC that guarantees partial reimbursement when it is Monroe’s turn in the process, but we do not have any assurances from the state as to when that funding will arrive.
An advisory committee consisting of more than 100 members of the Monroe community has been meeting for the last 12 months to provide input and explore options to address our facilities concerns. Last summer, a smaller group of those committee members met to discuss possibilities in more detail and make recommendations for the future of our district. The general consensus from both of these committees was that there is interest in exploring options to proceed regardless of the state’s timeline.
November 2024 Bond Issue
The Monroe Board of Education has decided to move forward with plans for a bond issue on the November 2024 ballot to fund the construction of a new Monroe High School and update our existing school buildings.
This does not mean that the district is no longer working with the OFCC or won’t receive the funding that comes along with the state’s partnership. This just means that the board has determined that our facilities updates need to be addressed before any state reimbursement will arrive.
While the millage rate and estimated cost to homeowners have not yet been determined, under the current funding plan any potential increase in taxes would not take effect until 2029, when the bond issue for Monroe’s main campus is completely paid off.
At that time, the expiring bond would help offset any potential tax increase as the community would no longer be responsible for payments on the existing elementary, junior high and high school buildings on Yankee Road.
Next Steps for Our Community
The task at hand now is to plan a new high school facility that will create new opportunities for our students and staff for years to come while still maintaining fiscal responsibility to our community and local taxpayers.
In these early planning stages, there are many questions that we do not yet have the answers to. As we move forward, we plan to engage with the community to share information and gather additional feedback about this project. Your input will play a crucial role as we begin the visioning process for a new high school that will be a beacon of community pride.
We will share more updates and information with the community as we continue to navigate this process. In the meantime, please browse our Facilities Master Planning webpage for the most up-to-date information and answers to frequently asked questions.
Districtwide enrollment has nearly doubled since Monroe’s main campus was completed, from 1,515 students in 2004 to more than 2,900 students today. According to a facilities analysis conducted by the Ohio Facilities Construction Commission (OFCC), the capacity of Monroe’s main campus (grades 2-12) is 1,955 students. In reality, this campus is now home to more than 2,400.
Over the years, Monroe’s student enrollment has continued to grow leading to overcrowding in our classrooms and common spaces. In addition, the lack of available space and the repurposing of gyms, media centers, meeting rooms and storage spaces has limited potential class offerings and learning opportunities for our students and staff.
How/when will this impact my property taxes?
Although the bond issue will appear on the November 2024 ballot, under the current funding plan any potential increase in taxes would not take effect until 2029 when the existing bond issue for Monroe’s main campus is completely paid off. At that time, the expiring bond would help offset any potential tax increase as the community would no longer be responsible for payments on the existing elementary, junior high and high school buildings on Yankee Road.
The millage rate and estimated cost to homeowners have yet to be calculated and will be shared this spring or summer.
Why isn’t the school district waiting for state funding/reimbursement?
Monroe Local Schools began working with the Ohio Facilities Construction Commission (OFCC) as early as 2015 to address overcrowding in our school buildings. The district has entered into a formal agreement with the OFCC to guarantee a 68% reimbursement for its "base plan," which is the state's proposed solution to meet the district's facility needs as efficiently as possible regardless of academic impact.
Base plan calculations often rely on factors like square footage as it relates to student enrollment, and sometimes result in grade levels being split across two buildings. While Monroe's 68% reimbursement will be based on the state's calculations, the district retains the right to develop its own facilities master plan based on local needs and what it determines to be the best option.
At this time, there are no assurances from the state as to when this funding will be made available.
If the bond levy passes, what is the timeline for construction?
If the bond levy passes in November, the district will immediately enter a new planning phase that will include educational visioning for the new high school and renovation and reprogramming plans for Monroe’s existing campuses.
More information regarding a construction timeline and completion dates for the various phases of this project will be shared as it becomes available.
How was a new high school decided?
During the 2022-23 school year, an advisory committee consisting of more than 100 members of the Monroe community began meeting monthly to provide input and explore options to address our growing facilities concerns. Last summer, a smaller group of members from this committee met to discuss the possibilities in more detail and make facilities recommendations.
Presentations and minutes from each of these meetings are located below.
What is the reprogramming plan for Monroe’s existing school buildings?
While a decision has yet to be made, the school board and district administrators are currently exploring various options to reconfigure existing school buildings and grades preschool-eight.
What happens if the bond levy fails?
If the bond levy fails, Monroe will begin implementing stop-gap measures that could include the repurposing of auxiliary gym space and the addition of modular (portable) classrooms to address building capacity and class size issues.
What is the difference between a bond levy and an operating levy?
A bond levy is similar to a mortgage for the schools, except instead of borrowing from a bank, the district finances the cost of long-term projects using money collected from property taxes. Bond proceeds are used to purchase or construct new buildings, renovate and modernize existing buildings, add or upgrade infrastructure systems, and purchase additional equipment.
An operating levy asks voters to agree to a property tax that will collect a set dollar amount for a specific number of years. Local levies are used for operational costs and capital improvements, and bridge the gap between state funding and the true costs of operating a school district.
Does this have anything to do with the city of Monroe’s master plan?
While Monroe Local Schools and the city of Monroe often work together, they operate completely independent of one another and have separate master planning processes.
Facilities Advisory Committee (FAC) Meetings
FAC Meeting #2 - Feb. 22, 2023 (Middletown School Building Tours)
Facilities Core Committee (FCC) Meetings
For more information regarding Monroe's facilities master planning process, please submit your comments or questions here.