By Kristin Bednarski
Batavia Local School District officials and levy committee members celebrated Tuesday night’s election results at Gramma’s Pizza in Batavia Nov. 6.
Administrators, board members and levy committee members gathered to hear the results of the election, and celebrated when the unofficial results indicated that the issue had passed.
Results are unofficial until they are certified by the Clermont County Board of Elections, but voters approved the 7.26 mill levy with 50.36 percent of voters in favor of the levy and 49.64 percent of voters opposed to the levy.
The levy was a 4.51 mill bond issue for a new elementary school combined with a 2.75 mill operational levy to help maintain services.
The Ohio School Facilities Commission already committed to paying for 49 percent of the new building, if the district could pass the levy for their local share.
Michael Enriquez, president of Batavia Local School District Board of Education, said it feels good to be able to pass the levy and be able to build a new school.
“I’ve been involved in trying to get a new elementary for years,” Enriquez said. “We finally have an opportunity to bring our kids to a facility that is 21st century.”
Molly Cribbet, assistant principal at Batavia Elementary School, said while she is still nervous awaiting official results, she is excited for what a new school will be like for the students.
“There will be so many opportunities for the children that they don’t have now,” Cribbet said.
Many parents and community members volunteered to help with the levy campaign helping to educate voters about the levy and the financial situation at the district.
Kristen Warvel, one of the committee members, said one of their key messages to voters was that a new school would be a positive thing for the entire community.
“I think we felt pretty confident,” Warvel said about their chances. “We had a lot of positive feedback from the community.”
Committee members said they were excited to see the unofficial results and are happy for students in the district.
“I think it just means a bright future and more opportunities for our kids,” Jen Vest, a committee member, said.
Superintendent Jill Grubb said she was excited as well after hearing the unofficial results.
“It’s close, but I’m confident we are still going to pass it,” Grubb said. “I am ready to trade in campaigning for a hard hat and get on with the next step.”
Grubb said once results become official they will immediately begin working with the Ohio School Facilities Commission to build the new elementary school.
She said the elementary school will be located on the high school property and a second entrance will also be constructed for school traffic.
Grubb said she is thankful for the work done by the levy campaign committee and is also thankful for community members for helping to pass the levy.
“Batavia Local School District would like to thank the community for their support,” Grubb said.
Clermont County Board of Elections must calculate provisional ballots and certify results before they are official.
If the vote is too close to call the board of elections could issue a re-count.
For more information about the election process visit www.clermontelections.org.