Blackfoot braces for $23.9 million bond issue

BLACKFOOT — Voters in the Blackfoot School District will soon decide on a $23.9 million proposal to fund a new elementary school and career-technical high school.

If passed, the March 9 measure would repurpose I.T. Stoddard Elementary School into a career technical high school and allow the district to build a new elementary school nearby, Superintendent Brian Kress told EdNews Monday. 

Blackfoot Technical Education Center would become an extension of Blackfoot High. The new elementary school would be built on nearby Walker Street and serve some 450 kids.

Overcrowding at both schools, along with a growing demand for career-technical education, drive the push.

The bond issue also includes plans for:

  • An atrium at Blackfoot High for extracurricular activities, space for students to eat and for student leadership to gather. 
  • Athletic upgrades, from updating to a full-size high school track to soccer field lights. 

Click here for a full list of upgrades and pricing provided by the district.

Kress said the funding measure would not raise local property taxes, but that patrons would see a decrease from recent years. He credited historically low interest rates, payoff of a prior bond issue and a state subsidy for infrastructure costs for softening the tax burden.

Kress projected a new levy rate of $376 per $100,000 of taxable property value, if the bond issue passes. Blackfoot’s 2019-20 levy rate was $403 per $100,000, according to State Department of Education numbers.

Bond issues in Idaho require a two-thirds supermajority of votes to pass.

Devin Bodkin

About Devin Bodkin

Reporter Devin Bodkin covers education issues in East Idaho. He is a former high school English teacher who specializes in stories about charter schools and educating students who live in poverty. He is a 2019 Solutions Journalism Network fellow and the Idaho Press Club's 2019 print reporter of the year. Follow Devin on Twitter @dsbodkin. He can be reached by email at [email protected].

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