Cedar Falls School Board Schedules New Bond Vote
Residents will go to the polls next month to vote on another funding plan to finance building improvements in the Cedar Falls school district.
The Board of Education has set June 30, 2015, as the date for a $35 million bond issue. If approved, money generated from the referendum would finance the construction of a seventh elementary school and pay for improvements at North Cedar and Orchard Hill elementaries.
District officials want to build a new 500-student elementary school off Erik Road in southwest Cedar Falls, where the population is growing. The planned facility's proposed site is just west of Hudson Road about midway between Greenhill and Viking roads.
Local education leaders said passage of the referendum would ensure a new media center at North Cedar and more classroom space at Orchard Hill, where the school's capacity would be increased by 125 students. Both elementaries would get other upgrades, including a new cafeteria, kitchen and gymnasium.
Cedar Falls school board members voted unanimously Monday night to put a smaller financing plan before the voters, following the rejection of a massive $118 million referendum in September. The larger bond issue included funding to construct a new high school. District leaders have indicated they'll address the high school needs with a third ballot measure sometime next year.
School officials believe the facility upgrades are the best way to handle crowded classroom space in a growing district. According to figures released before the September vote, enrollment numbers are on the rise in Cedar Falls. The district is expecting a 900-student increase across all grade levels over the next 10 years.