Madison school bond issue passes

(UPDATED, 10:06 a.m., with full election results, and at 2:56 p.m., with statement from Madison superintendent Geoff Thomas.)

The Madison School District got the go-ahead Tuesday for a wide-ranging bond issue.

The $26.9 million proposal, the biggest school measure on Tuesday’s ballot, received 82 percent support, easily clearing Idaho’s two-thirds hurdle for bond issues.

“I am very pleased with the overwhelming support we received from our patrons,” said superintendent Geoff Thomas. “The passage of the bond at 81.55 percent of voter approval is a testament to the commitment the community has to students.”

The measure will not increase property tax rates. The Eastern Idaho district expects to use the money to cover a variety of projects, largely at Madison High School. The high school will get a 10-classroom addition, two new science labs, an event stadium, a multipurpose track and a multiuse indoor facility. Madison’s to-do list also includes projects at Madison Middle School and all six of the district’s elementary schools.

All told, five Idaho districts sought $42.5 million in bonds and school levies Tuesday. In other election results:

Shoshone: A $6 million bond issue fell short of the two-thirds threshold.

The proposal received 58 percent support.

Shoshone was hoping to remodel school entrances, add new vocational and multipurpose buildings and replace classrooms.

“It just seems like the majority of the voters wanted us to do the project, so that’s a positive,” Shoshone superintendent Rob Waite told the Twin Falls Times-News Tuesday night.

Grace. In this Southeast Idaho district, a $5 million bond issue for a new elementary school passed with 71 percent of the vote.

Middleton. A renewed two-year, $2.6 million supplemental levy passed with 68 percent support.

Sugar-Salem. A $2 million bond issue passed with 77 percent support. The Eastern Idaho district’s project list includes repairing heating systems, replacing bleachers in the high school gym and purchasing servers and improving Wi-Fi access.

Teton plans bond issue

In other elections news, the Teton County School District will ask voters to approve two bond measures totaling more than $37 million this November.

Trustees approved putting the bonds on the November ballot during a board meeting Aug. 8, after nearly a year of deliberation. Funds from both measures are aimed at upgrading and rebuilding the district’s elementary, middle and high schools.

If approved, a $30 million measure would go toward building a new Victor and Driggs elementary school and renovating Tetonia and Rendezvous Upper elementary schools.

The second $7.2 million measure would hinge on passage of the $30 million measure. The $7.2 million would fund upgrades ranging from added classroom and new gymnasium space at Teton Middle School and Teton High School.

The district’s webpage provides a breakdown of proposed upgrades and potential tax hikes tied to the measure, with costs estimated at $75 per $100,000 of taxable property.

The bond issue would need a two-thirds supermajority to pass.

Idaho Education News reporter Devin Bodkin contributed to this report.


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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