Bettendorf School District voters to decide $69.2 million school bond measure

Officials say the bonds are needed to help fund needed building improvements
The Bettendorf school board voted to provide 69.25 million dollars for renovations to facilities at Bettendorf’s Junior High and High Schools Thursday night.
Published: Jan. 20, 2023 at 5:56 PM CST
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BETTENDORF, Iowa (KWQC) - Voters in the Bettendorf Community School District will soon decide whether they support a property tax increase of up to $2.70 to help fund infrastructure improvements at the high school and middle school.

On Thursday, the Bettendorf School Board approved a resolution ordering an election on the issuance of a more than $69.2 million General Obligation School Bond.

The vote will take place March 7.

A district committee of community members, parents and staff recently completed a 10-year facility master plan that included a phased modernization of the Bettendorf Middle School, and facility improvements at Bettendorf High School, Herbert Hoover Elementary, and Paul Norton Elementary.

Bettendorf Middle School and Bettendorf High School were identified as the greatest need, officials said in a media release.

Bettendorf Middle School was identified as having the most need due to its aging 1960s infrastructure. The facility modernization plan includes additions to the school to address the need for larger classrooms to meet current learning environment standards, officials said.

It also includes the demolition of the original middle school building and its “extremely outdated” infrastructure and utilities, officials said.

“We looked at what parts of the building that have good bones,” Michelle Morse, Superintendent Michelle Morse said of the needed infrastructure improvements.

Morse said these bones were parts of the education, extracurricular and infrastructure needs the school already has in place.

Bettendorf High School facility improvements include a renovation of the original fine arts classrooms, built in 1972, to support ADA compliance and current classroom standards, officials said.

The plan adds activity and athletic facilities to help meet the needs of our students, athletes, and community.

Officials said the plan also develops needed classroom areas for career and technical education opportunities to better prepare students for their futures.

The bond measure, if passed, would help fund the projects at the middle school and high school. Officials hope to complete the projects in the next five years.

Officials said the district would use future one-cent sales tax and Physical Plant & Equipment Levy reserves to fund 32.8% of the total costs of projects and 20.7% of the high and middle school projects.

Officials said they also plan to use future one-cent sales tax revenue and other financial resources to fund the Herbert Hoover and Paul Norton elementary projects.

“We do believe that we have the support in the community for that and we’re so grateful for the twelve-hundred-plus families that signed the petition so we could have the board meeting last night, and the feedback in those arenas were pretty positive,” Morse said.

District officials will be hosting public forums at the junior high and high schools on Feb. 21 and 22, where members of the community can ask questions and provide feedback to school officials.