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Madison School District seeking $25.5 million bond for new elementary school and school remodels

Education

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REXBURG — Voters within Madison School District 321 boundaries will be asked to consider a $25.5 million bond in an upcoming election.

The District’s Board of Trustees recently approved a plan to seek a bond to build a new elementary school, remodel an existing school into an early childhood center and add additional classrooms at Madison Junior High School. Voters living within Madison School District 321 boundaries will see the bond measure during the election on March 8.

“We feel fortunate to live in an education-minded community where the needs of the district are heard and met by our patrons,” Board Chairman Kevin Howell said in a news release. “In my last 20 years on the board, I have seen incredible collaboration between teachers, admins, and community members. We are grateful that our patrons trust our process, which eventually leads us to a bond or levy.”

District spokeswoman Jessica Goudy explained if passed, the bond would not change the current property tax levy rate of $425 per $100,000 of assessed property taxable value. Madison School District Business Manager Blake Snedaker explained the district is able to keep the rate stable as Madison County continues to grow, and the tax burden is spread between more people.

“A lot of this gets confusing,” Snedaker said. “(But) if people have questions, we are happy to … talk people through this.”

The district is looking to replace Hibbard Elementary School due to ongoing development and growth in that area. Goudy said with over 250 homes in county-approved developments in various stages of construction, completion or planning, the school finds itself needing more classrooms in that area. The proposed new school would be built on district-owned land just west of the current Hibbard school.

With the potential construction of the new school, the current Hibbard Elementary building would be repurposed to house the early childhood education programs from Burton Elementary and Kennedy Elementary schools.

The bond would also help with growth at Madison Junior High School. Over the past 12 years, Rexburg has seen a 62% increase in population, which has necessitated more classroom space at the junior high. If passed, the bond would fund the construction of nine new classrooms at the school, allowing an additional 400 students to its enrollment capacity. The district also proposes an atrium be built to provide more lunch seating, a common space and a connection to the school’s wings.

“I am so appreciative to our community. Asking our patrons to tax themselves is not something we take lightly,” Superintendent Randy Lords said in a statement. “I understand the added financial burden this places on families and appreciate your continued support as we address growth in the district. The need to have safe and secure buildings to provide a world-class education for all students is what has led us to this decision.”

Voters in Madison County have had a history of approving school bond measures. In 2017, the district passed a $27 million bond that added classrooms to two elementary schools, high school classroom additions, a new stadium, sports fields, gym space and a 45,000 square-foot field house.

To answer people’s questions about the bond, the district is hosting two open houses, one on Jan. 24 at Hibbard Elementary from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. and one on Feb. 16 at Madison Jr. High School from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. People can also call the district office at (208) 359-3300.

Madison County will conduct the election for the District on March 8 from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.

You can find out more about the bond on the district’s website here.

CORRECTION: EastIdahoNews.com initially reported the bond amount being $22.5 million when it is actually $25.5 million. EastIdahoNews.com apologizes for this error and has corrected it in the story.

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