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Idaho Falls Board of Trustees Approves $250M Bond Proposal

Last week, the Idaho Falls School District 91 Board of Trustees approved a $250-million bond proposal that would provide funds to renovate and improve several schools within the district. Voters still have to approve the bond issue, which will appear on the ballot in November. Local news reports that trustees have made plans to pay off the district’s existing bond debt in 2023, nine years early than planned, to minimize the cost to the public.

“D91 has been looking at ways to upgrade and improve its facilities—especially Idaho Falls and Skyline—for many years,” said District 91 Superintendent Jim Shank in a letter to staff and parents. “At the same time, the city of Idaho Falls also has seen dramatic growth, resulting in additional concerns such as overcrowding in many of our elementary schools.”

District leaders engaged with the community to determine a long-term facilities plan. If voters approve the bond in November, it would fund three major projects:

The first is the construction of a new high school to replace the existing facility for Idaho Falls High School. The existing campus would be renovated into the new home of the D91 Career Technical Education Center. The second is the repair, remodel, renovation and improvement of Skyline High School. And the third is the construction of two new elementary schools, one brand-new school and one as a new facility for the existing Temple View Elementary School.

District 91 proposed and ran two bond proposals in 2017 and 2018. They were intended for some of the renovation projects listed above, and they received over 50% of the vote but not the supermajority of 66% required to pass.

“D91 did run bonds in 2017 and 2018, but those proposals only addressed the needs at IFHS and Skyline — a new high school and upgrades/improvements to Skyline,” said Margaret Wimborne, district director of communications and community engagement. “Those bond proposals did not include the elementary schools. In both those elections we received 58% of the vote — the majority of community members supported the plans.”

About the Author

Matt Jones is senior editor of Spaces4Learning. He can be reached at [email protected].