BOND REFERENDUM: March 3, 2020

  • FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
    December 3, 2019

     

    To meet the growing needs of our students, the North Polk Board of Education is calling for a special election to be held on March 3, 2020 for the sale of up to $15 million in general obligation bonds. Funds generated from the passage of the bond referendum would help to alleviate capacity issues district buildings are facing due to rapid growth in student enrollment. Voter approval would allow the district to construct an upper elementary building in Polk City and an academic addition to the existing high school. Taxes will not be increased by the construction of these projects; the district is simply seeking a continuation of the current debt service tax.  

    The first step in this process is a petition. The district needs signatures from North Polk residents to prove community support and allow for the opportunity for a public vote regarding the bond referendum. Beginning December 2, 2019, volunteers will begin circulating petitions to North Polk residents, and petitions can also be found in each school office. 

    After signatures are presented to the North Polk Board of Education, additional information and project details will be provided to families and residents. You can expect to begin receiving additional information in January. In the meantime, questions can be directed to the Administration Office and we will do our best to answer all questions promptly. 

     

    FOR MORE INFORMATION
    North Polk Administration Office
    13930 NE 6th Street
    Alleman, IA 50007
    515-984-3400 (option #5)


WHAT

  • To meet the growing needs of our students, the North Polk Board of Education is calling for a special election to be held on March 3, 2020 for the sale of up to $15 million in general obligation bonds. Funds generated from the passage of the bond referendum would help to alleviate capacity issues district buildings are facing due to rapid growth in student enrollment. Voter approval would allow the district to construct an upper elementary building in Polk City and an academic addition to the existing high school.

WHY

  • North Polk’s enrollment count has steadily increased over the last several years and that trend continues this year. Currently, the district has grown by 58 students since the end of the 2018-19 school year, pushing total enrollment to over 1,900 students in 2019-20. To manage growth and predict future enrollment trends, the district has partnered with a consulting firm to conduct enrollment studies that aid in long-term facilities planning. The graph below indicates future enrollment projections and highlights when buildings are expected to exceed capacity. 

    Enrollment Projections by School, indicating when buildings exceed capacity

TAX IMPACT

  • With voter approval, taxes will not be increased. The district is seeking a continuation of the existing debt service tax.  North Polk schools would borrow up to $15 million in bonds without increasing your taxes for these construction projects. Currently, the District’s outstanding general obligation debt is set to be retired in FY 2036. If the 2020 referendum is approved by voters, the District would be extending total general obligation debt to be retired in FY 2040.

PROJECT DETAILS

  • Voter approval would allow the district to construct an upper elementary building in Polk City and an academic addition to the existing high school. The additional elementary would serve students in grades 3-5, and help alleviate capacity issues at both of the district’s current elementary buildings. At the high school, voter approval would allow for an academic addition of potentially eight classrooms to be added to the existing building.

LONG-TERM PLANNING

  • Increasing student enrollment is not a new trend seen by the district. North Polk has experienced steady, yet rapid growth over the last several years, and with that comes growing pains. To help manage current growth and predict future trends, the district recently partnered with RSP & Associates on an updated enrollment analysis to aid in the district’s long term facilities planning. The study considers factors such as past and current student enrollment, current and anticipated residential development in the area, and other data to calculate projected student enrollment over the next 10 years. The district is using RSP's report and maps to better understand demographic trends, school utilization, and the timing of construction projects.

    Residents likely recall the passage of the 2017 bond referendum that allowed for $5.2 million to fund additions, renovations and security improvements to West Elementary and the middle school. Funds generated from the 2017 bond referendum were used on the greatest needs at that time, and the district borrowed the maximum amount allowable within our legal limits. Now, the North Polk Board of Education is asking voters to consider a potential bond referendum in the amount of $15 million that would fund the construction of an upper elementary building in Polk City and an academic addition to the existing high school.


SUBMIT A QUESTION

  • After signatures are presented to the North Polk Board of Education, additional information and project details will be provided to families and residents. You can expect to begin receiving additional information in January.

    In the meantime, questions can be submitted to the Administration Office through the link below.

    Submit bond related questions or rumors here