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Public Feedback Sought in Johnston Schools’ Bond Issue

Posted October 15, 2012 in Community Web Exclusives, Johnston

Johnston, Iowa – In response to the failed outcome of the September 11 bond referendum, officials with Johnston Community School District are calling on the public to provide feedback on the issue.

The district will hold two meetings for community members – the first on Thursday, Oct. 18 at 7 p.m. at the Johnston Middle School Auditorium; the second on Monday, Oct. 29 at 7 p.m. at Summit Middle School. These meetings give members of the community an opportunity to share their feedback regarding the $51 million bond issue. The special election on September 11, 2012 needed a super majority of 60 percent to pass and failed by 4.6 percent.

“It is important for the district stakeholders to be able to provide input regarding the September 11 bond referendum,” Superintendent Clay Guthmiller said. “Their feedback will assist in the board’s next steps in establishing a facilities plan.”

The Johnston Board of Education will most likely make a final decision on the next steps of the facilities project at the November 19 board meeting. The district is seeking feedback from patrons, parents, staff, and students as to how the school system might better proceed with plans to accommodate growing enrollments and facility updates. One option is again putting the bond issue up for vote as soon as April 2, 2013.

The $51 million bond issue was part of a four-part project, consisting of a new, larger high school; renovations to the existing high school to house a growing middle school population; renovations to the existing middle school to house Wallace Elementary and an all-district preschool; and renovations to Wallace Elementary to house the district administration offices. The total scope of the project had a price tag of $123 million, paid for with $51 million in bond dollars and $72 million from PPEL and sales tax funds.

Johnston, like many of its metro counterparts, has seen increasing student enrollments each year since 1984. To date, the district enrolls an estimated 6599 pre-kindergarten through twelfth grade students.

The district encourages all citizens within the Johnston school district to attend the meetings on October 18 or October 29 to share their feedback and concerns with district officials. Feedback can also be shared via an anonymous online form or by calling the district office at 515-278-0470.

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