Residents of the Rock Valley Community School District will vote in a special school bond election on Tuesday, September 13, 2022. The question asks voters to approve $25 million to address our schools' space and capacity needs.
School district residents were asked to complete a survey this past fall. Of those completing the survey, 95% said they would support construction of a high school space connected to the current facility on the west side of the current building. In November, district residents were invited to participate in the building design phase, which resulted in a clear favorite for the design of a new high school and remodel of the existing middle/high school.
If approved, the bond would have an estimated property tax impact of $4.05 on every $1,000 of Taxable Property Value. When you factor in the state rollback and the Homestead Credit, this would lead to an increase of $16.63 per month ($199.58 per year) on a home worth $100,000.
During the 2002-03 school year the district served 601 students (resident students, students open enrolled into the district, tuition-in students, and shared-time non-public students). During the 2021-2022 school year the district served 898 students. That is an increase of 297 students.
Over the last decade the district has grown by approximately 158 students
The Bond Issue for a new elementary building was passed in July of 2005. There were 634 K-12 students in 2005 when the elementary bond issue was passed. Elementary students were able to start school in the new elementary building in the fall of 2007. The original elementary project added 56,154 square feet. Today there are about 900 students K-12.
In 2010, the district built the Bus Barn. Over the last decade, the district has completed $11.2 million in property acquisition and building projects without a bond issue utilizing the SAVE and PPEL funds. Five classrooms have been added to the elementary building, administrative offices, Industrial Arts/Agriculture classrooms and shop area, science classroom, Family and Consumer Science classroom, weightlifting/exercise room, and a wrestling room. The school district purchased a former day care center in 2017 and moved the Pre-school and Transitional Kindergarten programs there the same year.
The district saved taxpayers $745,098 in interest payments on the elementary building by refinancing and paying the debt off two years early.
What does it Build?
A new High School attached to the current school. The addition will include 24 new classrooms and total 82,705 square feet.
A new high school gym that will be used for high school P.E, athletic team practices and competitions, and community recreation activities. The new gym will also eliminate the need for before school athletic practices and spilt practices after school.
Relocate before and after-school bus pick-up and drop-off by the 5th grade exit.
Create two drop-off and pick-up lanes for parents on the east side of school.
Room to grow in the Elementary, Middle School, and High School Facilities by shifting grade alignment to K-4, 5-8, 9-12. The grade re-alignment will allow the school district to better meet the socio-emotional needs of the students, especially the students in grades 5-8 by separating middle school students from the elementary and high school students. When the 5th grade is moved to the Middle School, the classrooms currently utilized for 5th grade will allow four sections for both 3rd and 4th grade students.
The building project will allow the school district to re-purpose educational spaces to better meet the educational needs of our students with special needs, e.g. Special Education, English Language Learners, Talented and Gifted Students, and At-Risk Students.
If funds are available, plans are to remodel the existing middle/high school for larger classrooms for middle school only. This will include remodeling the existing restrooms.
Why is there a need for a new building?
As indicated in “District Facts” the Rock Valley School District has experienced significant growth in our enrollment in the last two decades and according to the Iowa Department of Education’s enrollment projection data, the school district will continue to see increases in student enrollment over the next five years. The table below shows the K-12 enrollment and square footage per school district for the schools in the Siouxland Conference. Please note that the total sq. ft. for the Rock Valley CSD is 176,000 sq. ft. and the MOC-FV High School has 160,000 sq. ft. and the Sioux Center High School has 180,000 sq. ft. The Rock Valley CSD has approximately 900 students in our building and MOC-FV and Sioux Center high schools have 405-500 students in their high schools.
|SCHOOL||K-12 Enrollment (Fall 2021)||TOTAL SQ. FT.||SQ. FT./Student|
How Do I Vote?
Voting is on Tuesday, September 13, 2022 at Parkview Event Center located at 1303 10th St, Rock Valley, Iowa 51247. The polls will be open from 7am to 8pm.
The deadline to submit an Absentee Ballot is August 24.
Absentee Ballots can be downloaded HERE
How will we pay for this?
If approved, how much money would the bond issue provide the district?
After bond and underwriter costs, the $25 million dollar bond will provide approximately $24,000,000 to be used for the project.