Two East Idaho districts to float a combined $105 million in bond issues

The Madison and Jefferson school districts will put a combined $105.5 million in bond issues for new schools and other upgrades on the March 8 ballot.

Jefferson’s $80 million measure includes construction for a new middle school and other upgrades. Madison will ask its patrons to fund $25.5 million to construct a new elementary school and fund other improvements.

Both of the growing East Idaho districts have set dates for question-answer sessions about their measures. Both say the measures would not raise local property taxes.

“Market and community growth” cancel out the prospect of an increased tax burden on local property owners, Madison superintendent Randy Lords said on the district’s Facebook page.

Jefferson superintendent Chad Martin also pointed to growth aimed at absorbing the cost. “What we’re proposing here would not increase that levy rate at all,” he told patrons in a YouTube video.

Bond issues require two-thirds support from voters.

Here’s what both districts are asking for:

Jefferson: $80 million

This district, headquartered in Rigby, hopes to construct a new middle school on property it currently owns and turn Rigby Middle School into a career-technical center for medical, automotive, technology and construction courses.

Martin outlined other proposed bond projects on the district’s website, including:

  • A gym at Roberts Elementary School, which doesn’t have one.
  • A “school and community recreation facility” at Rigby High for indoor PE and practices. The district plans to build tennis and pickleball courts, a track, batting cages and turf for soccer, football, baseball, softball, marching band, cheer, dance and other activities.
  • New classrooms at Farnsworth Middle School.
  • Security review, analysis, and upgrades for new and existing facilities.
  • Land for future schools.

Patrons can bring questions and concerns about the measure to any of the following scheduled meetings:

  • Rigby Middle School, Jan. 19 at 6 p.m.
  • Midway Elementary, Jan. 24 at 6 p.m.
  • Harwood Elementary, Jan. 25 at 6 p.m.

Click here for Martin’s full list of proposed upgrades. The district’s current levy rate is $424 per $100,000 of assessed property taxable value.

Madison: $25.5 million

Trustees in the Rexburg-based district voted last month to put the measure on the March 8 ballot.

The district updated patrons with details on its Facebook page last week. Here’s what local leaders hope to fund:

  • A new, larger Hibbard Elementary to go up on district-owned land, just west of the current Hibbard building.
  • An early childhood center in the old Hibbard building to house programs from Burton and Kennedy elementary schools.
  • Nine new classrooms and an atrium at Madison Junior High, increasing capacity by 400 students. The atrium will expand lunch seating, common space and connect to the school’s science and math wings.
“(T)he school portion of your property tax levy rate will remain $4.25 per thousand of assessed taxable value,” Martin reiterated on Facebook.

The district has set two open house dates for the proposal:

  • Hibbard Elementary, Jan. 24 at 5:00 p.m.
  • Madison Junior High, Feb. 16 at  4 p.m.
Devin Bodkin

Devin Bodkin

Devin was formerly a senior reporter and editor for Idaho Education News and now works for INL in communications.

Get EdNews in your inbox

Weekly round up every Friday