116 3rd St SE
Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52401
MARION - Marion Independent School District voters approved a $31 million bond issue Tuesday, enabling the district to move forward on a facilities plan that includes building a new elementary school, auditorium and outdoor activities complex at Marion High School and making repairs to other district buildings. The measure passed with 84.6 percent of the vote - 1,312 in favor of the bond and 238 opposed.
The measure needed a supermajority of 60 percent support to pass.
Before the polls closed, Superintendent Janelle Brouwer said she was 'cautiously optimistic” because of a high turnout.
'It's a huge success on behalf of our students to be able to make sure we could meet their academic and extracurricular needs,” Brouwer said.
'A huge thank you to our community,” she added. 'The fact people are getting out and voting today speaks highly to the involvement and engagement in our community. Students benefit when the community is involved and engaged.”
The district's school board unanimously endorsed the $36 million facilities plan earlier this year. The other $4 million is coming from an existing statewide SAVE penny sales tax for school infrastructure.
To put the bond issue on the ballot, the district had gathered 585 signatures on petitions. That allowed the district to open a satellite voting site at Vernon Middle School ahead of the election.
The facilities projects will take four to five years to complete.
A new elementary school at Thomas Park Field will replace Starry Elementary School, 700 S. 15th St., in a $15.3 million project. Starry will be renovated to add high school classes.
In a $5.7 million project, the outdoor activities complex will be moved from Thomas Park to the high school. The park location sustained significant damage in the Aug. 10 derecho.
The new auditorium at the high school campus, 675 S. 15th St., will increase seating from 300 to 800 and is a $7.7 million project. The current auditorium will be converted into more classrooms.
The exterior of the high school also requires repairs to crumbling brick walls.
Finally, the facilities plan includes renovating Francis Marion Intermediate School, 2301 Third Ave. An addition and secure entrance will be added, aging classrooms will be updated and the oldest wing in the building will be taken down. This $6.6 million project will allow for better traffic flow and new classroom space, Brouwer said.
The West Delaware Community School District in Manchester passed a bond referendum Tuesday with almost 68 percent in favor of the measure to increase the levy rate about 76 cents.
Based on the average assessed home value in Manchester of $135,000, the median tax increase per household would be $53.84 a year or $4.49 a month.
This provides the district with general obligation bonds in an amount not to exceed $20 million for repairs, remodels and improvements to West Delaware High School, Middle School and Lambert Elementary buildings.
Improvements include air handling equipment for improved ventilation, dehumidification in classrooms, LED lighting, hot water piping and electrical services, and remodeling existing offices and entrances for better safety and security.
Comments: (319) 398-8411; firstname.lastname@example.org