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Decision Day, Residents Vote on School Bond Referendums

IOWA  --  Tuesday, residents in three metro school districts are voting on bond referendums that aim to build new schools. The Ankeny school district, the Urbandale school district, and the Waukee school district have open voting from 7:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. at various polling locations. (Click on the school district for their poll locations)

Each school district wants different things out of their bond referendums and it may require a higher property tax for residents.

The Ankeny School District wants to build an 11th elementary school. The proposed elementary school would be built in the Prairie Trail development to the west of South Ankeny Boulevard. The district is asking for an $18 million bond referendum and will pay $900,000 out of pocket for furniture, equipment and fixtures. The Ankeny School district said this new school is needed because there are currently four elementary schools in the district over capacity. They also say if the bond referendum is passed property taxes will not increase.

The Urbandale School District hopes to build two new elementary schools. If passed, the bond referendum will shut down Olmsted and Valerius Elementary and rebuild two new schools on the same property. The $59 million bond referendum will consolidate the current six elementary schools into four, and provide funds to build a fitness center at Urbandale High School. The district says the elementary schools, built in the 50s and 60s, are outdated and will cost more to maintain in the long run. If passed the bond referendum will increase property taxes for the average homeowner by about $33.00 a year.

The Waukee School District wants to add a second high school. The proposed high school would be built on 160 acres of land north of Hickman Road and east of 10th street in Waukee. The $117 million bond referendum would build a second high school and make improvements to the current high school. The Waukee School District said the current high school is at 99% functional capacity and adding 478 new students every year. They said the additional high school will accommodate the school’s growth. The district also said if the bond referendum is passed, property taxes will not increase.