In the coming weeks, the Mantua’s School District will begin communicating with residents about an upcoming bond referendum of up to $11 million that is meant to make the district ADA-compliant and more handicap accessible.
Some areas in the district buildings and ground do not currently meet ADA standards, such as Sewell Elementary School.
An informational campaign is expected to be rolled out in early October. The district says it will also provide information available to the community at public events. The district is aiming to have the vote on Dec. 10.
The Americans with Disabilities Act sets requirements to allow facilities to be accessible to people with disabilities. A set of standards is given for the classroom and school settings to allow for functional use of space and accommodation for all learners, according to the act’s website.
A letter was sent to parents in May by the district, stating the referendum will upgrade Sewell School to become ADA-compliant and will upgrade classrooms, as well as complete repair roofs and all-purpose rooms at J. Mason Tomlin and Centre City elementary schools.
“While nothing is finalized at this point, the entrance of the Sewell School is considered a priority area so that we can become compliant,” said Superintendent Robert Fisicaro in an email response.
Eleven million dollars is the maximum amount the district can borrow without any tax impact, after the existing debt from a 2001 bond expires. According to Fisicaro, the expiring debt will be replaced with the new bond referendum.
The district was not able to provide how much taxes would go down if the referendum is defeated in the election.
The district is still in the planning and development phase of the referendum.
The district says it has been working closely with its architect to address accessibility to become ADA compliant. The district has not yet finalized the scope of work that will be included in the referendum, although, plans are expected to be finalized by Oct. 1.
Once the board of education approves the referendum, the district will be able to share details on the proposed upgrades.
After the BOE approves, the next step is to obtain approval from the state Department of Education. Plans have not yet been submitted to the DOE.