ACSD Builds: Elementary Bond Referendum Overview
Posted by Ankeny Community School District on 1/10/2018
What is Being Proposed?
The Ankeny Board of Education has called an election on whether to bond for funds to build a new elementary school. If approved, the bond would provide $18 million to design and build the elementary school. Use of the bond is limited to these specific purposes. The bond requires a 60% super-majority “yes” vote in order to pass. If passed, construction of the school will begin fall 2018 and be completed by August 2020.
Why is this School Being Proposed?
Ankeny School District enrollment continues to grow at an exponential rate. An additional school is needed to accommodate the ongoing growth.
- Enrollment growth has averaged 400+ students annually for the past five years and is expected to grow by an average of 345 students per year over the next five years. Certified enrollment grew by 355.42 students this year alone.
- If the school does not open in 2020, a minimum of four of the existing nine elementary schools will exceed their capacity, and we will at the same time begin planning for facility needs at the middle school and high school levels.
- Alternatives to constructing a school may negatively impact students’ education.
Homes continue to sell at a rate not seen in other metro area communities. Building permits are again on the upswing and construction is prevalent throughout the community.
Why Now and Not Later?
At a minimum, it takes 16 months to build an elementary school. Construction would begin fall 2018 if the bond passes in February. In order to keep up with enrollment and have the facility open before existing schools run over capacity, the new school must be built now.
The decision to delay the need for the next elementary by adding on to Prairie Trail and Rock Creek was strategic. When we consider the cost of building an elementary, one thing that does not often get discussed is the cost of staffing a building. This cost is significant and ongoing. Ankeny attracts, recruits, and retains some of the finest teachers in the state of Iowa. In order to continue to do so, thereby ensuring excellence in our educational programming, it is imperative we make strategic, fiscally-sound decisions in growing our district facilities.