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Jefferson School District asking for $80 million bond for new school and other projects

Education

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RIGBY — Jefferson Joint School District 251 is asking voters to consider an $80 million bond in an upcoming election.

In a recent meeting, the District’s Board of Trustees approved a measure to add the bond request in the March 8 election. If passed, the district plans to construct a new middle school, remodel the existing Rigby Middle School into a career technical education center, conduct a security review and more.

The district says if the $80 million bond passes, it will not increase the current tax levy rate of $424 per $100,000 of assessed property taxable value.

“​I am thankful for a community that has high expectations of its public schools, values the importance of education, and supports growth and the importance of proactive planning throughout our school district,” Superintendent Chad Martin said in a statement.

In addition to the middle school projects, the district hopes to build a gym at Roberts Elementary, add additional classrooms to Farnsworth Middle School, renovate other schools and acquire land for future schools. The district also hopes to build a community recreation facility at Rigby High School, similar to a project that Madison School District completed in 2021.

While addressing the bond project in a video, Martin described how the district’s growth over the past decade added over 1,800 students to the classrooms. Martin said projections show continued growth at between 3% and 6%, hitting 8,000 students in the next decade.

“Undoubtedly, we have challenges and obstacles to work through and overcome,” Martin said. “However, together we can continue to build upon our foundation of excellence and move forward as a school district and community.”

The district will have three public meetings to discuss the bond. The first is Wednesday at Rigby Middle School. The additional meetings will be on Jan. 24 at Midway Elementary School and the third on Jan. 25 at Hardwood Elementary School. All meetings will begin at 6 p.m.

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