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Frequently Asked Questions

What was covered in Phase I of the district’s facility plan?

In September 2019, voters in the Storm Lake Community School District approved a bond issue to move forward with the first of a three-phase plan to address the district’s space and facility needs. 

 

Phase I focused on our new Early Elementary School, which is now open and includes kindergarten classrooms, a media center, art and music rooms, a kitchen, a gymnasium, a commons area, and offices. 

 

The first phase also included our new Middle School Auxiliary Gym and three additional Middle School classrooms. 

 

As a district, we are thrilled with how Phase I went and remain incredibly grateful to our community for the support. However, as we anticipated, we continue to deal with a space crunch in our other buildings. 

 

What is the proposed Phase II?

The Board of Education is now proposing that we move forward with Phase II of our three-phase facility plans by adding a first-grade wing to the new Early Elementary School building. Voters will be asked to approve a $9.95 million bond issue for Phase II on September 13,  2022. 

 

If the measure receives at least 60% voter approval, the bond would allow the district to add about 31,141 square feet of additional space to the new Early Elementary School. First-grade students would be moved into this space, thereby easing capacity concerns at the higher grade levels. 

 

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Why is Phase II necessary?

Unlike most rural school districts in Iowa, SLCSD’s enrollment continues to grow at a rapid pace. While this is a very good thing, it has led to a space crunch across our buildings. The bond issue approved by voters in September 2019 allowed the district to move ahead with the first of a three-phase plan to address its space and facility needs.

 

The district’s long-term plan is to have prekindergarten through first grade in our Early Elementary School, 2nd-5th grade at our elementary school, and 6th-8th grade at our middle school.

 

District leaders and the Board of Education believe the time has come to move to the next phase of our plans to address capacity needs and help ensure the legacy of SLCSD continues well into the future.  

 

Didn’t voters already approve a solution to the district’s facility needs in 2019?

In September 2019, voters approved a $14.98 million bond issue for SLCSD. That bond allowed the district to move ahead with Phase I of its three-phase plan to address the space and facility needs stemming from rapid enrollment growth.

 

Thanks to the support of our community, the district built a new Early Elementary School, along with a new middle school auxiliary gymnasium. Both of these facilities are now open and serving students, families, and community members. 

 

The Early Elementary School currently serves prekindergarten and kindergarten students. If Phase II is approved on September 13, 2022, the district would add 31,141 square feet to the new school to provide space for first-grade students.

 

Will community members get to vote on the proposed Phase II?

Yes. The Board of Education has approved a bond issue question that will appear on the ballot Tuesday, September 13, 2022. 

 

If Phase II is approved, what would Phase III look like?

Although plans are still preliminary, a potential third and final phase of our facility plan would involve adding about 33,158 square feet of additional space for prekindergarten students at the new Early Elementary School. Residents would once again have the opportunity to vote on this plan.

 

How would an approved bond affect property taxes?

An approved bond on September 13 would not include a property tax rate increase, as the school district portion of the local tax levy would remain the same. SLCSD’s tax levy rate would remain at $17.17 per $1,000 of assessed property value. 

 

This will be made possible by the district lowering other levies by the same amount of the bond, thereby offsetting any increase in the debt service rate.

 

How much revenue would an approved bond generate for the district?

If approved, the bond would provide the Storm Lake Community School District with $9.95 million to move forward with Phase II of its facility plan.

 

What is the exact question on the ballot?

Below is the language that will appear on the ballot on September 13, 2022:

 

Shall the Board of Directors of the Storm Lake Community School District in the Counties of Buena Vista and Sac, State of Iowa, be authorized to contract indebtedness and issue General Obligation Bonds in an amount not to exceed $9,950,000 to provide funds to construct, build, furnish and equip a Grade 1 addition to the early elementary school and to improve the site?

 

When is election day?

The bond question will appear on a special election ballot Tuesday, September 13, 2022. This is a special school election date, as authorized by the Iowa Secretary of State.

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