UPDATE: Board members vote to put bond referendum on ballot - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

UPDATE: Board members vote to put bond referendum on ballot


Superintendent Jean Peterson says Independence school board members voted unanimously to put a vote to its community for a new junior-senior high school building. A crowd of about 200 people attended Wednesday night's meeting, where the 5 school board members took the next steps for a bond referendum. The decision now goes to voters in the September 13 election.

Since 2003, some patrons of the Independence Community School District have been pushing for a new junior-senior high school building.  However, multiple bond referendums aimed at financing a new school have failed.  But the district hasn't given up hope.

Independence Junior/Senior high School has been in the community since the 1950s.  And for the last several years, many people in the area have felt it's time for a new school.  But now with a new effort, there's new hope that could happen. 

With a new superintendent, a new committee was formed last year to re-examine what kind of new school proposal the community might support.  And that's meant collecting a lot of public input.

"We've taken all that very seriously, brought it back and made changes and tweaks to the plan," said Peterson.

It's all in an effort to replace an outdated school building, which is becoming costly to maintain. 

"We want a facility that's really going to prepare our kids for the 21st century," said Peterson.

And the new school would certainly offer a more modern feel, designed with upgraded technology and energy efficiency in mind.  One alum and committee member believes that kind of new facility is needed for the future of the district.

"One way the district could really benefit is to really have the students to pride in their facilities, have tournaments hosted here, grander scale productions.  So it's a really exciting place to be, and we really want to make it happen," said Jenny Yoder, with the "Build for the Future" committee.

The "Build for the Future" committee's proposal requires a smaller commitment from taxpayers than previous bond measures.  Less than half of the $27.5 million price tag, $12.48 million, would fall on the tax payer's shoulder.  For someone with a $100,000 home, property taxes would jump $10.03 a month.

So with board of education approval, the committee hopes that this go around, the community will get behind supporting a new school.




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