North Ridgeville mom worried about kids’ safety after levy fails

Published: May. 3, 2023 at 5:23 PM EDT
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NORTH RIDGEVILLE, Ohio (WOIO) - Some parents in North Ridgeville are worried about students’ safety after a levy that would replace an elementary and high school failed.

Voters in North Ridgeville were split down the middle with the issue. It failed by 37 votes, Tuesday night.

“My stomach dropped to my feet,” North Ridgeville mom Natalie Priest said. “I was literally heartbroken.”

Priest has two sons in North Ridgeville schools. She fears the overcrowded and aging school buildings are not secure enough for students.

“What’s going to happen if, God forbid, there is some kind of intruder that comes in and there’s nothing they can do,” Priest said. “There are no doors to even close, much less lock and barricade.”

Many opponents to the initiative said the property tax hike is way too much.

According to North Ridgeville City School District, if it passed, a home assessed at $200,000 will cost a homeowner just under an additional $600 yearly in property taxes.

“I think if we start small maybe we can get that support,” Priest said. “Maybe if it’s not such a big number the residents of North Ridgeville are seeing then maybe we can get a little more support.”

The stakes were high with this vote.

The district will now lose $30 million worth of state funding for the project. Administrators are now looking at reducing bus routes and cutting advanced placement classes.

More trailers will likely be used as classrooms, which has Priest worried.

“That’s a safety issue too because if there is some kind of intruder they don’t even need to break into the school,” Priest said. “They can just sit and wait for kids to walk outside the school and walk to their trailer for their 5th period class.”