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Westerville schools seek levy funds for building repairs

When Westerville voters go to the polls in November they will face their fourth school ballot issue in a year in a half. In March voters approved a 5 mill operating levy after turning down similar measures twice before. Now voters will decide issue 104, a permanent improvements replacement levy. If passed, the measure would generate $29-million for school facilities improvements over the next 5 years.

It looks like an earthquake struck the Westerville North High School Gym. The old wooden floor has buckled, in an inconvenient spot: the foul line of the basketball court. The district plans to make an emergency fix before the start of basketball season, but there's no telling when another section of the floor might break open again. The gym floor would be replaced if the levy passes.

Other fixes that would be funded if the levy is approved include: replacing heating and air conditioning systems, removing moldy carpeting, replacing windows in Emmerson elementary school which were originally installed back in 1896, and replacing playground equipment removed earlier because of safety concerns.

Issue 104 is a replacement levy. The issue was initially approved back in 1989 and has been renewed twice since. If it is approved, the levy would add about 20 dollars in property taxes per hundred thousand dollars of home valuation.

Tamara Keith has been a White House correspondent for NPR since 2014 and co-hosts the NPR Politics Podcast, the top political news podcast in America. Keith has chronicled the Trump administration from day one, putting this unorthodox presidency in context for NPR listeners, from early morning tweets to executive orders and investigations. She covered the final two years of the Obama presidency, and during the 2016 presidential campaign she was assigned to cover Hillary Clinton. In 2018, Keith was elected to serve on the board of the White House Correspondents' Association.