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Solon bond would fund new middle school, arts center

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SOLON - School district officials in Solon are optimistic voters will support a plan to build a new middle school and performing arts center in the growing district.

“We’re keeping our fingers crossed and hopefully the community will show up and support our vision for the future,” said superintendent Sam Miller.

Voters will get a chance to decide Tuesday when a $25.5 million bond issue is placed on the ballot. The plan also calls for some additional projects, including a plan to add a special education classroom.

If voters approve the bond, property taxes will not increase but will be extended at their current rate through 2036, which was first established in 2002 to fund the new high school.

“In 2002 the school district went to the voters for a new high school and it passed overwhelmingly,” Miller said. “There’s strong support for schools in this community.”

A new performing arts center, which would be attached the high school, would double the size of the current facility while adding an orchestra pit.

“What music is like, what theater is like in the professional world, we want to get as close to that and give [students] that experience now,” said Joel Foreman, high school choral director. “One of the things we’re hoping to do with the new facility is have premium lighting and sound.”

Middle school principal Mike Herdliska said the school is nearly 100 years old and new facility is desperately needed.

“We face a lot of challenges of creating opportunities for kids that logistically we can’t,” said Herdliska.

If passed, the buildings would be ready to open by fall of 2016, officials said.

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