The Significance of the Bond Issue

The Significance of the Bond Issue

What if I told you that the most consequential project being discussed for our school district will be voted on in less than a month? This just so happens to be the case, as a recent bond issue was put on the ballot for this November’s election. 

The bond issue includes four main components: an early childhood education center, which would be located by Madison; a massive expansion to Jefferson that would add over 10 new classrooms; established air conditioning throughout the high school; and all new tennis courts and football bleachers. If the bond passes, construction would start on the air conditioning first, followed by the tennis courts and early childhood center. In all, the upgrades are worth around 40 million dollars and would be funded through property tax. However, property tax rates will not increase for Pella citizens.

On the surface, this appears to be a  typical construction plan, but a closer look reveals how important these updates truly are. For instance, the current air conditioners in the science wing and auditorium were only meant to be temporary solutions. Those systems have been barely getting by for a number of years now, which has made late August assemblies dreadful. Anyone who’s tried to watch a tennis meet at the Caldwell courts knows it’s nearly impossible to see the action on most of the courts. Seemingly small updates like these will have substantial impact on the way our school and it’s programs run.

It’s the big updates, however, that I believe will truly impact our town over the next few years. When looking at where to start a family, many people look to the schools as an indicator of the town’s atmosphere. A dedicated early childhood center is very appealing to young families, and the connected Jefferson and Middle School adds value to our district as a whole. Families aren’t the only ones looking at our schools, however. Businesses look at how many people Pella gains per year when making decisions about where to put locations. The condition of the school district usually determines the growth rate of the town. Think of all the new business ventures that have opened in Pella within the last five years. Burger King, Scooters, and the upcoming SmashPark have come to town because they saw potential in the future of our town, due in large part to continuous reevaluation of the schools.

It’s time that we all recognize the importance of the bond issue. The improvements scheduled to be made will not only improve the lives of young people, but of our entire community and those who seek to be a part of it.