Early voting on Upper Valley school bonds has already begun
REXBURG — Two Upper Valley school districts are asking the public to cast their vote on bonds before the end of the month.
Madison School District 321 is asking voters to approve a $27 million bond. Of that number, $5.5 million will be covered by the state bond equalization subsidy.
“It’s a program that they’ve had in place for a number of years, a dozen years or more, they help schools at different levels,” District 321’s Business Manager Varr Snedaker said.
Snedaker said the funds would go toward various projects throughout the district. Madison High School would be expanded to receive 10 additional classrooms, two science labs, an additional competition gym, expanded parking lots, an event stadium, a multi-purpose track and a multi-use indoor facility.
“We’d have more room for tournaments,” Snedaker said. He said there would be room for more events as well as practice space for after school activities.
Madison Middle School would receive a new heating, ventilation, and air conditioning system.
Lincoln Elementary School would get an expanded and safer parking lot. Hibbard and South Fork elementary schools also would get parking lot expansions. Burton and Kennedy elementary schools would each receive four new classrooms. Adams Elementary School would get a cafeteria remodel.
“One of the important reasons for expanding is, of course, a growing student population,” Snedaker said.
Snedaker says the community has been anxious for the district to put the final touches on the high school since the new facility was completed several years ago.
“I think a lot of people in the community have been waiting for us to try and find the money to finish the yard and put in a football field next to the high school and track and some of those facilities,” Snedaker said. “We think it will be a good thing for the community. Patrons will for the most part really love it.”
The bond has a 20-year payoff, and it is not expected not raise residents’ property taxes.
Early voting began Monday and goes until Aug. 25. Residents can cast their early vote at the county clerk’s office. The official bond election will be Aug. 29 at local voting precincts in Madison County.
The Sugar-Salem Joint School District 322 also is hoping to get the go-ahead from voters as it awaits approval for a $2 million bond.
Voters did not pass the previous $5.59 million bond earlier this year. That bond was set to be paid off in five years and would have helped with infrastructure that would alleviate overcrowding throughout the district.
“It was primarily for an unattached addition to the junior high school,” Superintendent Alan Dunn said. “Our whole district is growing, and we have a real need for more classroom space at the elementary, the intermediate and at the junior high.”
Dunn said the district will revisit the growth issue later, but in the meantime there are still other needs in the district that a bond could be used for.
“The board will take an appropriate amount of time to study and to listen to the public, gather information, and then we’ll come to the public again with a proposal on how to solve the overcrowding problems,” Dunn said.
Dunn said the if this bond is approved, the $2 million will go toward maintenance needs throughout the district like concrete walkways and gutter repairs, boiler repair, refurbishing restrooms, replacing outside doors and more.
It would also fund new computers, projectors, desks, whiteboards and music equipment.
Voting begins Aug. 29 at the assigned polling places. The bond is not expected to raise taxes.
There will be no bond elections in Bonneville County at this time.
Idaho Falls School District 91 will not be holding a vote this election, but will have one Nov. 7. The school board is asking for consideration of a $110 million dollar bond to update and modernize Idaho Falls and Skyline high schools.
Bonneville Joint School District 93 will not be having a bond election after its $58.5 million bond measure for a new middle school was tabled.