What is a bond?
A general obligation bond is a method of long-term financing that spreads the cost of the project over a number of years, similar to a home mortgage. A bond ensures current and future users of the facility help pay for construction.
Why do we need bonds?
Iowa state law says the building of schools cannot be financed through the school district’s normal operating funds, such as the general fund. Instead, school construction has to be paid for through bonds, which the public votes on.
Why do we have a special election for the bond referrendum?
According to state law, voters within the school district must approve general obligation bonds before they can be issued.
How is a bond issue passed?
After the board receives a petition from patrons, the issue is placed on a special election ballot. Iowa law requires a bond issue to be passed by a public vote, requiring a 60% majority. If a bond issue fails, another bond issue containing the same issue may not be presented to the public for six months.
If there is a levy, when would it start?
If the public approves the bond issue on September 11, 2018, taxes would be assessed and collections would start July 1, 2019. Although the district would be able to borrow funds to start the project prior to July 1, 2019, taxes would be assessed and collected starting in the 19-20 fiscal year.
It is important to note that the Debt Service Levy for the District, has been at its maximum rate of $4.05 for many years as the school board prepaid current bonds in preparation for current needs. Passage of this bond referendum of $46 million can not increase the Debt Service Levy rate beyond the current level. This bond issue will allow the District to handle expected student growth through future building additions and expansions rather than new facilities.
Patrons on the district’s facility planning committee and the DC-G School Board have reviewed and approved the district’s Ten Year Facility Plan. The district’s Ten Year Facility Plan has seen few significant changes in what the district had originally planned to do, yet we have changed the timelines due to enrollment growth. Projects included in these plans will affect every current DC-G student, preschool through 9th grade. For example, if your student is currently in second grade, by the completion of the project, he or she would attend the renovated 5/6 building.
The chart below shows enrollment projections for the Dallas Center-Grimes Community School District. The construction of a 7th-8th grade building will alleviate space in all elementary schools, middle school, and Meadows/High School campus. The projections below show the expected years that each building level will hit capacity. The construction of a 7th-8th facility will alleviate space throughout all of our seven existing buildings. An opening date of the 2021-2022 school year provides adequate time for construction with successful bond vote in 2018.
The conceptual floor plans for the proposed 7/8 middle school have been included below. The location of the facility is being planned south of DC-G High School and Meadows.
Administrators and architects have spent time researching various learning spaces and have used this information to guide the conceptual plans for the proposed facility construction and renovations.
Voters approve $46 million bond referendum for Dallas Center-Grimes Community School District
On Tuesday, September 11, 2018, 923 voters turned out for the special election to issue general obligation bonds in the amount of $46 million. The bond passed with 84.51% voter approval. Sixty percent is needed to pass.
Dallas Center-Grimes Community School District will move forward with plans to build a new 7/8 facility as well as renovating the current middle school and the High School/Meadows campus. It will also allow us to upgrade security and technology throughout the district.
We are excited to move forward with this project and for the positive impact it will have on students. This project will help us to manage our increasing enrollment and continue to provide high quality educational opportunities for students.
DC-G would like to thank Dallas Center and Grimes communities for their continued support for our education system. #DCGExcellence