At Monday night’s board meeting, with the presentation of nearly 850 signatures and a quick review of the proposed facilities plan, the Johnston Board of Education voted 5-2 to hold a special election $41 million bond referendum on June 25, 2013.
This the second attempt for bond passage, the board cut the price tag by $10 million and further refined the needs versus wants for the district. If the vote passes with a 60 percent super majority on June 25, the $41 million would be put toward five construction projects that would alleviate the overcrowding issues experienced at Johnston High School, Johnston Middle School, Beaver Creek Elementary, Horizon Elementary, and space and programming needs at Wallace Elementary.
The revised facilities plan includes:
– New 10-12 high school north of 62nd Ave. & west of 100th St. ‐ $81 million – completed in 2016
– Renovation to existing high school to house 8th and 9th grade students ‐ $4 million – completed in 2016
– Renovation of the existing middle school on 62nd Ave. to house elementary students by moving Wallace Elementary to that building, along with district preschool. ‐ $16 million ‐ completed in 2017
– Furniture Fixtures and Equipment ‐ $6 million
– Renovation of the existing Wallace Elementary to meet district needs ‐ $5 million ‐ completed in 2018
Superintendent Clay Guthmiller addressed board members’ questions regarding a new $8 million stadium by saying the $5 million earmarked for the renovation to Wallace for an administrative building could be more sensibly spent on the stadium. He said the stadium will be bid with the entire project.
With the $41 million in general obligation bonds, the remaining $71 million needed for the complete project will come from existing PPEL (physical plant and equipment levy) and sales tax funds. The approval of the $41 million would result in a slight property tax increase for residential, commercial, and agricultural land owners in Johnston. Those increases have not yet been released.
Voters in the Johnston school district can expect to receive specific information about the upcoming bond election within the next few months, leading up to the June 25 election.