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Bond Referendum

Posted September 04, 2012 in Community Blogs, Johnston

One week from today, on September 11, 2012, voters in the Johnston Community School District (JCSD) are being asked to head to the polls and vote on the proposed $51 million bond referendum for a new 10-12 high school and other district renovations.

Going to the polls with the correct information is critical and the district is dedicated to getting the facts out to parents, patrons, and business owners before the vote. The facility plan has a total cost of $122.3 million, which would be funded through $51 million in general obligation bonds for the high school with additional funding from sales tax and PPEL funds. The total scope of this bond referendum includes:

• New 10-12 high school built on land currently owned by the district (north of 62nd Ave and west of 100th St)
• Renovation to existing high school to house 8th and 9th grade students
• Renovation of the existing middle school on 62nd Ave. to house elementary students by moving Wallace Elementary to that building, along with district preschool.
• Outdoor athletic and fiber optics improvements
• Renovation of the existing Wallace Elementary to meet district needs.

Since 1984, Johnston schools have experienced steady growth in enrollment numbers. Our demographic projections estimate total enrollment to be 6,900 in five years, and 7,255 by the year 2020-21. To accommodate for more students, building additions have been made and modular classrooms have been added. An intensive, 18-month student, conducted by the JCSD facilities committee, has led to the conclusion that in order to more permanently meet the needs of an increasing student population, additional facilities are needed. The input of district stakeholders, staff, parents, patrons, students, and architects was weighed against all possible decisions, and the outlined plan was the decision.

For taxpayers, this bond referendum means an increase in property taxes. Based on the assessed value of land (residential, commercial, or agricultural), property taxes will increase $.99 per $1,000 in taxable valuation. To note, this increase is not calculated on the market value of property, but the taxable valuation. If you are in question of the taxable valuation of your property, go to the Polk County Assessor’s website to look up your home.

The JCSD website has many informational materials available for use and reference. Just go to to learn more about your polling location and view bond information. JCSD is committed to providing voters with answers to their questions.

A fourth and final public meeting will be held on Thursday, Sept. 6 at 7 p.m. at the Johnston Middle School. Led by Superintendent Clay Guthmiller, he will present the research and rationale that has led up to this point and plans going forward. Anyone with questions, concerns, or seeking more information is invited to attend.

Your voice matters in this special election. Please head to the polls, 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. on September 11 to cast your vote!

Laura Dillavou
Johnston Community School District Communications & Marketing
(515) 278-0470

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