UPDATED, Dec. 1, 11:08 a.m., to include the total taxpayers would pay per $100,000 of taxable property ($91), based on what the district is currently collecting ($59) and would collect ($32) if the new bond issue passes.
The Nampa School District decided to put a $210.2 million bond on the ballot in March to replace two schools and build a new career and technical center, among other projects.
The district’s board of trustees voted during a special meeting Monday to float the bond, a decision that comes after Idaho Falls School District’s $250 million bond failed earlier this month.
If passed with the required two-thirds majority, the bond would go toward replacing, renovating, and maintaining facilities and improving student access to special education, preschool, fine arts, and athletics programs. The district says the bond financing will lead to students in every part of town having equal facilities and opportunities.
“It’s all about kids, that’s the important thing,” said Kathleen Tuck, the district’s spokesperson. “It’s all about improving their academic experience. It comes down to equity and providing the same opportunities no matter where the child lives.”
Nampa’s needs are not about a lack of space for a growing population, but about facilities that are “aging out of their ability to meet the needs of students,” Tuck said.
The district has saved for maintenance, but cares for more than 20 buildings and the needs are “getting ahead of what we can do every year.”
The greatest expenses on Nampa’s to-do list:
- Replacing Nampa High School ($100 million).
- Building a new career and technical center ($30 million).
- Building a new theatre at Skyview High School, renovating the existing theatre and turning it into the band room, and other maintenance and repairs ($26 million).
- Replacing Centennial Elementary School ($25.5 million).
A few other schools would receive upgrades as well:
- Columbia High School: A new auxiliary gym and other maintenance/repairs ($6.7 million).
- West Middle School: Renovations and other maintenance/repairs ($4.6 million).
- Central Elementary School: Minor renovations and space upgrades ($3.3 million).
The bond would also be used for athletic program needs:
- Resurfacing middle and high school tracks; replacing tennis courts at Columbia High School; stadium bleacher replacements; field upgrades; Bulldog Bowl renovations; gymnasium bleacher replacements; weight rooms; and gymnasium sound systems ($11.2 million).
Finally, $1.8 million of the bond would be used for safety and security, and $1.1 million would go toward demolition projects.
The cost for the bond would be about $32 per $100,000 of a home’s assessed value, after the homeowner’s deduction. That’s in addition to the $59 per $100,000 the district is currently collecting for a past bond. If the new bond passes, that would bring the total to $91 per $100,000, according to district documents.
This is the first time the district has run a bond in 15 years; in 2007, a $38.5 million bond was passed. It was the fourth bond that was passed in seven years as the district sought assistance from voters to meet the needs of a growing population.
That record of support has the district hoping for another approved bond in March.
“We are aware that this is a big ask, especially with the economy as is,” Tuck said. “But waiting doesn’t necessarily help because our needs just get bigger.”
She said the district plans to get the word out about the bond by putting information on its website and reaching out to voters.
Nampa’s is the first March bond that’s been announced, but Kuna and West Ada are discussing proposing March bonds.