NEW FRANKLIN  The Manchester Local School District for years has been looking to replace its aging academic and athletic facilities.

Tuesday night, with the unofficial passage of Issue 8, an 8.78-mill bond issue that would help fund $34 million in improvements which includes new buildings for all students, that appears to be a reality.

With all eight precincts counted, the bond issue was successful with 1,544 votes for it and 1,384 against it.

“I would say that it has been a long journey but the real winners our the kids and the future of our community," said Manchester Superintendent Dr. James Robinson. "The road ahead and the process required will take some time but just as the passage of the issue was a real team effort – so too will be the process. I could not be happier for our kids.”

The district’s buildings are aging with Nolley Elementary School opening in 1961 with an addition in 1968. The high school opened in 1959 with an addition in 1974. The district’s central office opened in 1928.

If Issue 8 is confirmed by the Summit County Board of Elections, a new 9-12 high school will be built and the existing high school will be remodeled and updated for pre-K to grade 5; Nolley Elementary School and the old Nimisila building will be demolished; the middle school trailers will be removed; and a new football/soccer complex will be constructed with a new track, field house and baseball field.

The new high school is expected to be built on the space occupied by the high school baseball field. The new multi-sport stadium will be constructed on the site of the soccer and track complex and the new baseball field will be constructed on the site of Nolley.

Manchester will partner with the Ohio School Facilities Commission (OSFC), which will fund 41 percent of the new high school. This is the most funding the OSFC has offered the district.

The cost to homeowners of a $100,000 tax-assessed home by the auditor (not market value) is $25.61 per month.

In 2009, voters defeated a $46.3 million project. Then in 2016, voters defeated a $47.6 million project by a close vote.