Iowa City School District passes $191.5 million school bond - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Iowa City School District passes $191.5 million school bond

Posted: Updated:
IOWA CITY (KWWL) -

UPDATE: Iowa City Community School District passed the $191-million bond vote.  Here is the breakdown:

YES: 10,814 (65%)

NO: 5,812 (35%)

60% Needed:

Passed

Voter turnout was a record 16,700, 23%

-------------------------------------------

A massive school bond will be on the ballot for one community school district September 12.

The Iowa City School District hopes to pass a $191.5 million dollar school bond. The district includes five municipalities:  Iowa City, University Heights, Coralville, North Liberty, and Hills.

Wednesday night, voters asked questions about the bond issue at a public forum, hosted by the League of Women Voters. The panel was represented by those on both sides of the issue where they debated the questions asked to them.

The proposed bond would finish the second half of the school district's Ten Year Facilities Master Plan. Its mission is to make all schools an equitable learning space while addressing the growing number of students and make improvements to the buildings and amenities.

According to the district, they've seen a 17% percent increase in students since 2009 with more still coming in. Improvements to the buildings include new roofs, adding air-conditioning to buildings, and making them all ADA accessible.

"Regardless of where you live or how much money you have you should have a school comparable to all other schools and this facilities master plan does that it makes sure that everyone gets to go to a school that can compete with or that is comparable to another school in our district," Mary Kate Pilcher Hayek, of One Community, One Bond, said.

One Community, One Bond is an origination that supports the passing of the bond. 

The passing of the bond means raising property taxes $4.25 a month for a home valued at $100,000. That equals to be $51 for the year. 

"The effect this bond has had on our taxes will still leave the Iowa City School District at the lowest tax rate of the ten neighboring districts," Hayek said.

With the money only one new school would be built, though previous ones were built in the last few years in the first half of the ten-year plan. Money from the bond would be spread throughout most of the schools.

Those against the bond say the language on the ballot is too vague and the costs are too high.

"A more reasonable cost so we can see whether the district would honor their promises they were making outside of the bond ballot language to voters. I'd like to see those promises actually put in the bond ballot language. This would have been a much better bond proposal had the district made itself accountable in the language that we'll actually vote on," Mary Murphy, with the Vote No committee, said.

Early voting begins Monday, August 21, which can be done in-person at the Johnson County Auditor's Office. The bond needs 60% of votes in order to pass.

A description of what will happen at each school can be found here.

Powered by Frankly