Voters approve Sioux Center school bond

A total of 1,396 votes or 76.37 percent of the 1,828 total votes were in support of the special $24.9 million bond Sioux Center School District vote Tuesday, Feb. 5, according to the unofficial results posted by the Sioux County Auditor's Office.

SIOUX CENTER—The Sioux Center School District hopes to break ground on a new high school this spring.

That hope is based on the passing of a $24.9 million special obligation bond Tuesday, Feb. 5. A total of 1,396 votes or 76.37 percent of the 1,828 total votes were 'yes' votes, according to the unofficial results posted by the Sioux County Auditor's Office.

The bond needed 60 percent majority to pass.

A total of 432 votes or 23.63 percent voted 'no.'

"We are very grateful for the support and look forward to this project and what it will provide for  our community," said superintendent Gary McEldowney. "Thank you for taking the time to vote in the election and thank you for you continued support of education."

The total cost of a proposed new two-story Sioux Center High School is estimated to be $39.6 million. The school district plans to cover 37 percent or $14.7 million of that cost with 63 percent or $24.9 million needed to be bond, which required the community vote.

A general obligation bond is a method of long-term financing that a school district may use to borrow money for construction projects. This spreads the cost of the project over a number of years, similar to a home mortgage.

Because the bond passed, the debt service school tax levy increases by a maximum of 37 cents per $1,000 of taxable valuation. For a $200,000 home, the average increase in property taxes would be $40.62 a year or about $3.38 a month. The increase would be about 52 cents per acre for primary agriculture real estate.

The school district has proposed building a new high school facility as part of its four-facility solution for its growing enrollment.

An auditorium for performing arts is not including in the building project, but the building has been designed so that it could be added on in the future if the community wants it.

Dirt work could begin in the spring and would be a two-year project. The 2020-21 academic year would be the first year students could use the new facility as well as restructure the grades for the three existing buildings.

The Sioux Center School District’s last bond vote was in September 2008 for $8.485 million, which went toward updates to the high school and Kinsey Elementary.