Boise trustees to weigh in on $172.5 million bond issue

When Boise trustees meet Monday night, they’ll have a $172.5 million question on their hands.

Trustees are expected to decide whether to seek a far-reaching building bond issue — which would include money to rebuild and renovate several aging schools. If they sign off on pursuing a bond issue, voters will get their say on March 14. The bond issue would require a two-thirds supermajority to pass.

District officials are recommending the March bond issue. “In order to move forward with implementing the Facility Master Plan, the District will need to request that the patrons approve a facility bond,” Deputy Superintendent Coby Dennis said in a memo to trustees.

And trustees have already signed off on the facility master plan, approving it last week.

Overall, the facility plan carries a $217 million price tag, but the district already has $45 million in hand. A bond issue would cover the balance.

The big ticket items include $15.3 million to remodel the gym and performing arts center at Boise High School; a new school in East Boise’s Harris Ranch subdivision, costing $13.9 million; and rebuilding Pierce Park, Amity and Whittier elementary schools, each at a cost of $13.9 million.

The plan also includes $58.8 million in maintenance projects at 41 district facilities.

For the past few months, the Boise district has been weighing its options to replace or renovate some of its 52 buildings, and the facilities master plan doesn’t cover all of the district’s needs. In August, the DeJong-Richter consulting firm calculated the overall need at $326.4 million.

Trustees will meet at 6 p.m. Monday at the district’s Edward L. Davis District Services Center, 8169 W. Victory Road.