On Tuesday, February 6, 2018, voters within the Waukee Community School District will have an opportunity to cast their ballots for the $117 million bond referendum for the second high school, as well as for improvements to the current high school. If passed, the planned opening of the second high school would occur in the fall of 2021.
Referendum committee members and I have enjoyed the opportunity to share presentations with nearly 40 different groups within the community. This has included updates on enrollment, planning for a second high school, the upcoming bond referendum and the Comprehensive Boundary Process.
The most important part of the message shared with stakeholders is that our students (your children) will have more academic, curricular and extracurricular opportunities with a second high school.
Key facts highlighted during these presentations include:
- 2017-18 Enrollment in grades 10-12 = 1,915 students
- 2021-22 Projected Enrollment in grades 10-12 = 2,580 students
- The bond referendum will have NO IMPACT ON TAX RATES
There are three key reasons why this bond referendum will not impact the district’s portion of your current tax rate.
- The district has been planning for this referendum for a few years. We’ve been working to pay off debt early to increase our ability to bond as well as save taxpayer dollars. For example, to date, Waukee Community School District has saved taxpayers over $13 million.
- The bond referendum for the $117 million high school is a 20-year bond against future property valuations. Our current school tax rate is $17.85 per $1000 of taxable valuation on a home within our district. The debt service portion of the current tax rate is already at the maximum of $4.05. As a result, the referendum will not impact your tax rate.
- We are fortunate to have increasing property valuations within our school district boundaries.
While talking to stakeholders I have also shared the district’s commitment to maintaining fiscal integrity with taxpayer funds. In addition to oversight from the board, the district has internal controls in place to ensure the person who inputs the invoice for payment is different from the person who issues the check. There is always more than one person overseeing the payment process. An FAQ about construction oversight for the second high project is available online at 2ndHS.waukeeschools.org.
I encourage everyone to share the above information . . . vote . . . and then encourage others to vote. Polls are open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. and voters can go to either of the polling locations listed below:
Waukee District Administration Office
560 SE University Avenue, Waukee, Iowa
St Francis of Assisi Church
7075 Ashworth Road, West Des Moines, Iowa
I hope this information is helpful and answers questions you may have about the upcoming vote. Let me know if you have any other questions or concerns, but please be sure to vote on February 6!