Education

School bonds on ballots in Cedar Rapids-based College Community and Alburnett school districts Tuesday

Prairie Creek Intermediate is seen in January through a large window in the new cafeteria at Prairie High School in sout
Prairie Creek Intermediate is seen in January through a large window in the new cafeteria at Prairie High School in southwest Cedar Rapids. . Under a College Community School District bond issue proposal that goes before voters Tuesday, a new building for fifth- and sixth-graders would be built. Ninth-graders would move into the Prairie Creek building, which would alleviate crowding at the high school. (Liz Martin/The Gazette)

School board measures will be on ballots Tuesday in the College Community and Alburnett Community school districts.

In the College Community School District — which includes parts of Cedar Rapids, Ely, Shueyville and rural parts of Linn, Johnson and Benton counties — voters will decide if the district can issue $54 million in general obligation bonds to complete its 10-year facilities plan.

In the Alburnett Community School District, voters will consider a revised version of an $11.6 million bond they rejected in June.

Both measures need 60 percent of the vote to pass.

College Community seeks new school

The College Community School District, where some 5,800 students are enrolled, would use the bond to pay for a new school for grades five and six. The building that holds those grades would be converted into a ninth-grade building.

Approval of the bond would keep the tax rate in the district at $16.61 per $1,000 of taxable assessed value.

The new school would be built south of Prairie Point Middle School, on the southeast corner of the Cedar Rapids campus, where all the district’s schools are located. Scheduled to open by fall 2023, the new school would have capacity for 960 students.

Prairie Creek, which is close to the district’s high school, would be remodeled for ninth-graders.

Second try for Alburnett bond

The bond on the ballot in the 700-student Alburnett Community School District would fund the construction of 14 classrooms in the district’s only school building, including spaces for agriculture, family and consumer science, and an auditorium.

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The district revised the facilities plan that was pitched to the community in June, Superintendent Dani Trimble said, “to get more from the $11.6 million.”

Changes included shrinking plans for a career and technical wing in favor of reshaping a gym in the middle of the building into 11 classroom spaces and a new multipurpose facility at the Martin Athletic Complex for storage and shelter from bad weather.

The bond’s June vote failed with 55 percent approval.

“It does feel like better timing for our community,” Trimble said of Tuesday’s vote. “Our community is very engaged in the conversation right now, and there have been more opportunities to talk to some of the groups that meet more frequently this time of year to share information. It feels like better timing to engage everyone.”

Comments: (319) 398-8330; molly.duffy@thegazette.com

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