Bond Vote: September 13, 2022

While the Indianola Community School District is a point of pride in our community, our high school has significant facility needs that we must address soon. We look to address these needs in a way that makes the most of taxpayer dollars while preparing our students for the future.

On Tuesday, September 13, 2022, community members will vote on a bond issue question. If approved, the bond would allow the district to move forward with a plan known as Replace in Place to address facility needs at Indianola High School.

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The plan would retain the parts of the high school that are working well and where the district has most recently made investments, while renovating other parts of the building. The auditorium, career and technical education and fine arts addition, and north gym spaces would remain as is.

 

At the same time, the following projects would take place:

  • A new commons area to link the gym, auditorium, and academic area, creating a new “heart” for IHS

  • A new two-story academic wing built to the west and an athletics and career-technical expansion to the north

  • Increase parking and improve traffic flow

 

Learn more about the facility needs at IHS, the community-driven process we have used to find a solution, and the question on the ballot September 13, 2022.

Needs Stem from Growth

 

From 2010 to 2020, the city of Indianola grew by 7.1%. Enrollment in the Indianola CSD has aligned with this growth, with projections indicating enrollment increases of up to 2.4% annually for the next decade.

 

At a time when many Iowa school districts are experiencing declining enrollment, our district continues to grow. As we plan for this growth, now is a good time to rethink our high school building.

Indianola Planning: Benchmarking

Within our schools, increasing enrollment has led to capacity challenges. Indianola High School is now well below the state average when it comes to square feet available per student. If our district continues to grow as projected, IHS will have among the lowest square feet per student in our region.

IHS By the Numbers

At this time, IHS students have significantly less square footage available in athletics/physical education, kitchen, auditorium, commons, labs, media, circulation, and general classroom spaces. While the average standard new build classroom is about 900 square feet, classrooms at IHS average only 700 square feet each.

Existing Constraints
 

A Community-Driven Process

District leaders and the School Board have engaged a community task force to review our high school facility needs and make a recommendation to the board. As it conducted its work, the task force has sought the input and feedback of parents, staff, students, and district residents. This feedback has been critical to the solution that will eventually be presented to our community. 
 

In a recent community-wide survey, 74% of district residents said they believe that the Indianola CSD’s buildings overall reflect the community’s values and beliefs about education. However, only 56% said they believe the high school building reflects these values and beliefs. About 75% of survey respondents agreed or strongly agreed that there is a need to address facilities at Indianola High School.

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Proposed Solution

 
 

The Indianola Community Task Force has taken the lead on finding solutions to our high school facility and capacity challenges. At its meeting on May 2, 2022, the task force approved the REPLACE IN PLACE option as its recommendation to the School Boad.

In July, the School Board decided to approve the Replace in Place option and move forward with a bond issue question for the September 12, 2022 ballot. The plan would involve the following:

  • A new commons area to link the gym, auditorium, and academic area, creating a new “heart” for IHS

  • A new two-story academic wing built to the west and an athletics and career-technical expansion to the north

  • Increased parking and improve traffic flow

  • Maintaining the current auditorium, career and technical education and fine arts addition, and north gym spaces

An approved bond would NOT lead to a property tax rate increase. The district has maintained the bond levy rate at $4.05 per $1,000 of assessed property value, as it has aggressively prepaid and refinanced bonds to save future interest. To that end, there would be no levy rate increase for the project and the tax rate will remain the same. 

REPLACE IN PLACE
*Task Force Recommended

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Additional Options Considered

A NEW VERSION OF TODAY

Below are two additional options the task force carefully considered before making its recommendation for REPLACE IN PLACE. 

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A NEW START

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Please use the form below to submit any questions or feedback you may have.