Special Election for Dallas Center-Grimes Community School District Bond Referendum

On September 11, 2018 patrons of the Dallas Center-Grimes Community School District will be asked to go to the polls for a special election to approve facility funding measures that will impact students in all current grades. If this bond is approved, the district would undertake a $46 million dollar project.

On July, 2018, the Dallas Center-Grimes School Board received a petition from patrons asking for a special election to consider a bond issue to construct a new middle school building in Grimes.

The petition language reads as follows: “Shall the Board of Directors of the Dallas Center-Grimes Community School District in the counties of Polk and Dallas, State of Iowa, be authorized to contract indebtedness and issue General Obligation Bonds in an amount not to exceed $46,000,000 to provide funds to acquire land and construct , build, furnish and equip a grade 7-8 building and improve the site, including athletic facilities and improvements; to renovate, remodel, improve, furnish and equip and construct additions to the existing middle school and high school buildings, including site improvements at the high school building; and to make security and technology improvements at all existing buildings?”

The board unanimously approved accepting the petition and set September 11, 2018, for a special election to consider the question. Please note: All registered voters are eligible to vote, regardless of the Director District in which you live.

 

Public information meetings have been scheduled for the following dates and times:

• Wednesday, August 22nd at 7:00 a.m. and 7:00 p.m. at Dallas Center-Grimes Middle School Media Center in Dallas Center

• Wednesday, August 29th at 7:00 a.m. and 7:00 p.m. at Dallas Center-Grimes Middle School Media Center in Dallas Center

• September 5th at 7:00 a.m. and 7:00 p.m. at Dallas Center-Grimes Meadows Media Center in Grimes

Why is a new middle school being proposed?

The bond referendum being proposed will provide needed additional space for our growing student enrollment.  Construction of a 7th-8th grade building will alleviate space in all elementary schools, middle school, and Meadows/High School campus. As our projected growth model currently illustrates, the majority of buildings will hit maximum capacity within 5-7 years, and construction of a 7th-8th facility will take two to three years to complete with an opening date of the 2021-22 school year if a bond vote is successful in 2018.

With the current enrollment growth, and considering the housing developments in both Dallas Center and Grimes, the district’s secondary buildings will be reaching capacity. DC-G Middle School’s current building will reach capacity in 2021-2022. Meadows will reach capacity in 2019-2020 , and DC-G High School will reach capacity in 2022-2023.

The building will incorporate our 5-12 Future Ready Vision for students including flexible learning spaces, a football/soccer field and practice track for 7th-8th grade use, and twelve competition size tennis courts for community/district-wide use including a future tennis team.  The land site identified allows for future expansion, a possible future performance center, and enough space for the next needed facility for an expected elementary school. Through the plans included in this bond referendum, each of Dallas Center-Grimes’ seven buildings will be able to accommodate student growth with functional learning spaces.

Included in this bond referendum are several upgrades to our existing facilities.  The current middle school will hit capacity in 2020-21 without upgrade and increase of classroom space.  This bond referendum will also fund flexible learning spaces, technology upgrades, and our 5-12 Future Ready vision at these grade levels.

This proposed bond referendum will provide upgrades and expansion at the Meadows/High School campus and required upgrades to the fire suppression system. It also includes additions of practice facilities for both athletics and performing arts, parking areas, and upgrades to add flexible learning spaces and technology including career and technical education (CTE) and science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) areas.

If you have questions regarding these issues, please contact Scott Grimes, Superintendent, at (515) 992-3866 or scott.grimes@dcgschools.com.

 

General Bond Information
Student Impact
Projected Enrollment
Proposed Facility Plans
Voting Results

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