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More Details Sought as Community Discusses Failed Johnston School Bond Issue

The Johnston school district hosted the first of two community feedback meetings for residents regarding the failed $51 million bond issue.

Residents of the Johnston school district had several suggestions about how the district should proceed with facility plans during a community meeting Thursday evening.

About 40 community members attended the feedback meeting at Johnston Middle School.

Further community education and more detailed information on the likely affect on taxes and building elements were just a few of the suggestions from residents who voted for and against the bond issue.

In September voters rejected a $51 million bond issue, which would have been used to build a new high school and was one element in a $123 million facility plan in the district.

The plan included renovating the existing high school to house eighth- and ninth-graders, renovating the current middle school to house students at Wallace Elementary and an all-district preschool, and renovating Wallace to hold the district administrative offices.

Bill Warren said he and several neighbors voted against the bond issue after looking at property taxes.

"My neighbors and I couldn't in good conscience vote yes without trying to control the cost," he said.

Warren asked the district to dig deep to find what the true needs are for a new school.

Kaycee Schippers said she believes a lot of misinformation was diseminated to the community during the bond election.

"I was impressed by all the hard work and creativity," she said of the district's effort to win passage for the plan. "In my personal opinion, people didn't get a lot of information. I think you should consider education components, cards, hands-outs."

She said she'd like to see the same plan brought to voters again.

The Johnston school board will likely make a final decision on the next steps of the facilities project at its Nov. 19 meeting.

District leaders encourage all Johnston school district residents to attend the second meeting Oct. 29 at 7 p.m. at Summit Middle School to share their feedback and concerns with district officials. Feedback can also be shared via an anonymous online form or by calling the district office at 515-278-0470.

See more stories on the $51 million bond issue and proposed new high school:

  • Letter to the Editor: Johnston Area Education Association Backs Bond Election
  • Letter to the Editor: Proposed Johnston High School is Needed
  • What Could Johnston's Proposed $75 Million High School Look Like? Take a Peek
  • Have Questions on $51 Million Vote? Johnston Schools to Hold Public Forums to Answer Them
  • $51 Million Bond Issue to Be Decided By Johnston School District Voters

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