Meridian plans 2014 school bond issue

Idaho’s largest school district — and one of its fastest growing districts — hasn’t sought a building bond issue in nearly a decade.

That may change in 2014.

linda clark
Linda Clark, Meridian superintendent

The Meridian School District will likely go to voters with a bond issue next spring, Superintendent Linda Clark said in an interview Wednesday.

At the very least, the bond issue would seek another middle school, where the district’s overcrowding issues are most acute. For example, the district’s Lake Hazel Middle School was built to a capacity of 1,000; its enrollment should reach 1,400 for 2013-14, spokesman Eric Exline said.

The district might also seek bond money for an ongoing, six-year renovation project at Meridian High School, Clark said. The district is using plant facilities levy money to cover this project.

The bond issue might also address crowding issues in the elementary schools, Clark said.

Before the economic downturn, the Meridian district ran bond issues every other year, in an attempt to keep pace with the area’s breakneck suburban growth. But the district’s last bond issue, totaling $139 million, passed in 2005.

The district’s 2012-13 fall enrollment was 37,312 — up more than 30 percent from the 2004-05 figure of 28,655.

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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