Linn-Mar bond approval means new school for 5th and 6th graders

Voters have approved a $55 million bond in the Linn-Mar Community School District. The bond will bring two intermediate buildings and restructure the district.

The unofficial tally has more than 66% of voters giving a thumbs-up for the bond. 

Currently the district is at more than 90% capacity and they’re currently using portable classrooms to help with the growing number of students. The bond will help free up some much needed space. 

Soon portable classrooms will disappear from Linn-Mar schools, as the newly approved bond will allow the district to address overcrowding, due to the rapidly growing community. 

"More than 2,000 students have come into the district in the last 12 years alone. We project to see enrollment continue to grow about 2 to 3 percent," said Linn-Mar Community School District Media Coordinator, Matthew May.  

The district’s plan entails moving the 5th and 6th graders into their very own intermediate schools. 

"That’ll allow us to free up much needed space in 9 of our schools so we are very thankful for the support the community has shown," said May.

The district will build two intermediate schools and one of them is set to go in a corn field on 35th Ave between 44th St and 35th St. The other one is to be built right next to Echo Elementary. 

"It’ll house approximately 800 students and have about 34 class spaces in each school," said May. 

The schools will mirror each other and they aim to break ground on both of them in the Spring of 2019.  

May said this was the best way to create more room after an $80 million bond, that proposed building more schools and making updates to the existing ones, failed last year. 

"By moving the 5th graders out of those schools so each elementary school is going to gain about 4 classrooms," said May. 

While moving the 66th graders will free up a third of the space according to May, "Our two middle schools are in desperate need of that space." 

The bond will allow property taxes to increase over time up to $0.65. This means someone with a home with the assessed value of $200,000 can expect about a $69.00 annual tax increase. 

The district will be seeking public input on those new intermediate schools, the date for these input meetings have yet to be scheduled. 

The school district is also waiting on the Iowa Legislator to see if the Save Penny Tax gets approved, that would allow them to build a new elementary school. 

  

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