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Voters approve $41 million bond referendum for Johnston schools

Posted June 26, 2013 in Community Web Exclusives, Johnston

Johnston, Iowa – More than 5,800 voters turned out for Tuesday’s special election to issue general obligation bonds in the amount of $41 million. The bond referendum passed with a 66.65 percent voter approval. Sixty percent approval was needed. Look at the results on the Polk Co. Auditor’s website. View the precinct-by-precinct results.

Johnston Community School District will move forward with plans to construct a new 10-12, 1,800-student capacity high school, located north of 62nd Ave and west of 100th St in Johnston. Construction is planned to begin in spring 2014 and be completed in time for students to start classes in the fall of 2016.

Following completion of the high school project, the current high school, located at 6501 NW 62nd Ave, will undergo minor renovations to house grades 8-9. The current middle school will then undergo extensive renovations to house Wallace Elementary and an all-district preschool. Wallace Elementary will then be renovated to become a district administration building. The complete facility plan has a total cost of $112 million, and is estimated to be done in 2018.

“We are pleased with the results of the election,” said Superintendent Clay Guthmiller. “This is a great day for the students in our district. The proposed plan will manage our increasing enrollments, effectively utilize our existing buildings, expand space for educational programming and maintain future options for a second high school. The new facilities plan will effectively serve current and future generations of students.”

Johnston Community School District has experienced steady student enrollment growth since 1984. Students at Beaver Creek Elementary, Horizon Elementary, Johnston Middle School, and Johnston High School are experiencing overcrowding in classrooms, and as a result, are using modular classrooms. The new facilities plan will limit overcrowding for current and future generations of students.

With the approval of this bond referendum, taxpayers will see an increase of $.99 per $1,000 in taxable valuation on their residential, commercial, or agricultural property, beginning in Fiscal Year 2015, or with tax payments due October 2014 and April 2015.

“I want to thank the district’s voters for their support of this important issue,” Guthmiller said. “We look forward to working with our stakeholders during the coming months as we move forward with the planning.”

Watch the district website, www.johnston.k12.ia.us, for details on upcoming planning meetings regarding the new high school.


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