Nampa asks to modernize facilities and build new high school

The halls at Nampa High School bustle with activity as students move between classes. (Darren Svan/Idaho Education News)

Unlike the overcrowding facing many school districts, Nampa’s $210 million bond proposal on the March 14 ballot is about the growing cost of maintaining aging mechanical systems and dealing with facility obsolescence.

Next month, Nampa voters will decide if they want the district to transform and modernize about 25% of the district’s 46 buildings over the next five years: build a new Nampa High, Centennial Elementary and career technical center; upgrade or renovate Central Elementary, West Middle, Columbia and Skyview high schools, and athletic facilities.

Part of the money will also be used to address $48 million worth of deferred maintenance: roofs, HVAC systems, electrical systems, replacing outdated plumbing, sporadic asbestos remediation and bringing systems up to code. Currently, the district spends $1.2 million per year on maintenance.

The iconic Bulldog Bowl will receive an upgrade but will not be replaced. That area will be transformed into a public sports complex.

The Bulldog Bowl is not being replaced.

The “fabled stadium” means something to the community, said Cortney Stauffer, the district’s operations director.

To learn more about the bond proposal’s 10 projects, visit this page. The district’s facilities plan, building condition reports, scope of work details and projected costs can be found at this document. Nampa serves approximately 13,300 students.

The district created a website intended to inform voters by answering anticipated questions. The site includes five main topics: bond projects, frequently asked questions, a tax calculator, voting locations, the district’s bond history and a four-year master facilities plan.

“Transparency” is one of the district’s goals, said Stauffer. “We want to be approachable and provide accurate information, because it’s the community’s decision.”

Band students follow their teacher’s instruction during class. (Darren Svan/Idaho Education News)

If a supermajority (66.7%) of voters approve, property owners would see $85 per $100,000 of taxable market value each year (an increase of $25 over the current rate) on their tax bill starting in 2023. This is a 25-year bond. Nampa has 46,000 registered voters.

The examples below provide an estimate of what the new bond will cost property owners each year.

  • $200,000 value will cost $170
  • $300,000 value will cost $255
  • $400,000 value will cost $340
  • $500,000 value will cost $425

For a more detailed look at the tax impact, check your assessment notice from the Canyon County Assessor’s office. Then use the district’s calculator to determine how the bond will impact you.

Nampa is currently collecting a bond from 2007 at $60 per $100,000 of a home’s assessed value. This bond is set to expire two years early in 2025, because the district was able to refinance at lower rates, Stauffer said.

If voters approve a new bond in March, Stauffer said the district will not collect both the old $60 per $100,000 bond, plus the new $85 per $100,000 bond.

Instead, between 2023 and 2025, the district will add $25 to the old $60 bond, so the district will collect a total of $85 per $100,000. When that 2007 bond expires, that’s when they will collect the full amount ($85 per $100,000), if approved by voters in March.

For taxpayers, expect to pay $85 per $100,000 for the next 25 years starting in 2023.

The district is also collecting levies. Another $62 per $100,000 comes from a two-year $8 million supplemental levy that was passed in 2022.

So, in total, the district currently collects $122 per $100,000 — $60 in bonds and $62 in levies. If voters approve the new bond, the increase will be $25, from $122 to $147 per $100,000, according to a district report.

Property owners in the Nampa district pay a tax rate that is 9.67% higher than their neighbors to the northwest, Caldwell, and 38.7% lower than their neighbors to the west, Vallivue, according to the district.

Constructing the new schools and modernizing existing buildings will give “kids opportunities and equalize some of those opportunities that we see across the state,”  Stauffer said.

The school’s performance hall is not large enough to host the student body. (Darren Svan/Idaho Education News)

Once consolidated, the new CTE program will be housed at one campus where Nampa High School is currently located. The new high school will be constructed a few miles away on land the district already owns.

“We have an opportunity for kids to have a CTE program that’s enriched, where they have more tools at their disposal to learn their trades,”  Stauffer said.

The plan is to provide top-notch buildings and campuses that will serve the next generation of Nampa kids for the next 50 to 70 years, he added.

If the bond is not passed, the current proposals will be put on hold and “we will manage the best we can,” Stauffer said.

To learn more about bonds and levies, visit EdNews’ page here.

Nampa High school students transition between classes. (Darren Svan/Idaho Education News)
Darren Svan

Darren Svan

Reporter Darren Svan has a background in both journalism and education. Prior to working for military schools at overseas installations, he was news editor at several publications in Wyoming and Colorado. You can send news tips to [email protected].

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