Boise chamber endorses West Ada bond issue

The Boise Metro Chamber of Commerce is backing the West Ada School District’s bond issue.

Meridian High School
If passed, the bond issue will speed up a renovation project at Meridian High School, among other projects.

The state’s largest school district is seeking the go-ahead to finance $96 million in building projects — including two middle schools designed to alleviate the district’s more pressing overcrowding issues.

The proposal was scaled back from a $104 million proposal from August, which fell short of the needed two-thirds supermajority.

The bond issue will be on the ballot March 10, although early voting is already under way.

Check in at Idaho Education News later this week for more about the West Ada bond issue proposal.

Here is the chamber’s news release. (The release interchangeably describes this ballot measure as a “levy,” but it isn’t; since it involves bonds and long-term debt, it will require a two-thirds support):

The Boise Metro Chamber of Commerce today endorsed the West Ada School District levy up for a vote on March 10. The $96 million levy would provide for the construction of four new schools to ease the overcrowding problems at many West Ada School District middle and high schools.

If voters approve the bond, the construction plan would include:

  • A new middle school south of Interstate 84 to reduce overcrowding at Lake Hazel Middle School at a cost of $30 million.
  • A new middle school in Star to relieve overcrowding at Eagle Middle and Heritage Middle.
  • Completion of the Meridian High School remodel and expansion to update the classrooms at Meridian High and relieve overcrowding at Rocky Mountain and Mountain View at a cost of $24 million.
  • A new elementary school south of I-84 to relieve overcrowding at the elementary schools south of the freeway at a cost of $10 million. West Ada School District is partnering with the YMCA on this school, reducing the cost of the project by $2 million.
  • $2 million for the purchase of land for a future high school site.

Because of new construction and the increasing total property value in West Ada School District, approval of this levy will not increase the property tax rate levied by the school district.

“We greatly appreciate the support from the Boise business community,” said Dr. Linda Clark, superintendent of the West Ada School District. “The tie between economic progress and infrastructure such as schools to accommodate increasing enrollment is what makes the Boise Chamber such an important partner for our school district.”

Kevin Richert

Kevin Richert

Senior reporter and blogger Kevin Richert specializes in education politics and education policy. He has more than 30 years of experience in Idaho journalism. He is a frequent guest on "Idaho Reports" on Idaho Public Television and "Idaho Matters" on Boise State Public Radio. Follow Kevin on Twitter: @KevinRichert. He can be reached at [email protected]

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