Monday, June 5, 2017

What happens if the bond passes?

This is the second post in a several-part series on the proposed G.O. Bond for the ICCSD. Last post, I presented the bond text itself and some of the history behind the present bond. In this post, I will discuss what we can reasonable expect to happen if the bond indeed passes on September 12. In the next post, I’ll discuss what we can reasonable expect to happen if the bond fails to pass.

Although there is some room for disagreement, I will describe a few different categories of what we can reasonably expect.

First, we have that which is extremely likely to happen (maybe not guaranteed, but I would be shocked if it didn’t happen). That is to say, it would be unreasonable if someone denied that the following events will occur.
  • Several months after the bond passes, the administration will make a proposal to the board to sell the first of four two-year bond, authorized by the September 12 vote, that will cover the first several projects mentioned in the G.O. Bond language and in the Facilities Master Plan (FMP). The board will approve that proposal, and it will lock in these projects. It is projected to be for approximately $46 million (see here for the information source), but by the time the projects that begin under this first phase are completed, the projects will cost a around $127 million of the $191 million dollars being requested.
  • The projects included within that proposal are all but guaranteed and they include:
    • The construction of a new elementary school in North Liberty (near 980 N Front Street, North Liberty) with an estimated cost of $19 million.
    • Lincoln and Mann renovations, which include full air conditioning, ADA compliance, dedicated music and arts rooms, important cost-saving upgrades to the building, and a new gym/multipurpose room. The estimated cost is $4.8 million for Lincoln and $11.7 million for Mann
    • Liberty High Athletic Fields: creating outdoor athletic fields for Liberty High School with an estimated cost of $12.5 million
    • City High Phase 2, which will include a classroom and wrestling room addition, expansions of the cafeteria, kitchen, and gym, full ADA compliance and improvements, full AC and a geothermal heat pump system, and roof replacement. The estimated cost for the project is $30.3 million.
    • North Central Junior High, which includes an addition with ten classrooms and a second gymnasiums, expansions of the library, cafeteria, kitchen, and the geothermal heating and AC system. The estimated cost for the project is $11.1 million
    • South East Junior High, which includes a classroom addition, full ADA compliance, giving the school full AC, locker and roof replacement, and a new kitchen and larger cafeteria. The estimated cost for the project is $15.6 million.
    • West High Phase 2, which includes full AC, some renovations and upgrades to the building, and new windows. The estimated cost for the project is $22.5 million.
  • Homeowners can expect their tax bill to increase by approximately $4.25 per month per $100K taxable value.

Second, we have that which is likely to happen, but there is a reasonable chance that these plans can be modified. Such modifications are likely to be comparable to the sorts of changes made previously (see my prior post for a discussion of what those changes were)--and as such, they will likely be based on significant demographic changes and must be approved by the school board to take effect. These projects will be around $46 million combined, and they include:
  • Wood ($7.4 million)
  • Wickham ($2.3 million)
  • Shimek ($4.9 million)
  • Northwest Junior High ($15.7 million)
  • Garner ($1.2 million)
  • Liberty High Phase 3 (500-student addition for $6.2 million)
  • Kirkwood ($7.3 million)
  • Horn ($1.2 million)

Third, we have those projects that are slated to occur toward the end of the 10-year plan. These projects are almost completely funded under the fourth of the four bonds the board will approve, and collectively, they account for about $15 million of the overall $191 million. Among all the projects mentioned, I think we can reasonably expect some work at each of these schools, but the scope and whether the additional classrooms (beyond the dedicated science, art, and music rooms) will be added is more flexible, depending on need. Once again, any changes here are likely to be similar to those undertaken previously (see my prior post for a discussion of what those changes were). These projects include:
  • Tate ($3.5 million)
  • Lemme addition ($8.0 million)
  • Borlaug addition ($1.5 million)
  • Alexander addition ($1.5 million)


Fourth, I think the bond has some more general outcomes that are likely but hard to quantify. It will likely give the district greater flexibility with redistricting. Greater space at target schools allows us to more effectively balance redistricting goals, including proximity to schools, improving demographic balance, and keeping our clean feeder system. Second, it will reduce the risk of future budget cuts, which is particularly important as we enter into a squeeze on state support for public education. Third, it will reduce our reliance on modulars.

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