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Marion voters approve $31 million school bond to fund major upgrades across the district

Published: Mar. 3, 2021 at 10:21 PM CST
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MARION, Iowa (KCRG) -School leaders at Marion Independent School District will start with the work of building and upgrading -- after voters easily passed a $31 million bond vote on Tuesday.

Projects include a new elementary school on the site of the current Marion High School football field near Thomas Park, new auditorium at Marion High School, various facilities updates, safety and security upgrades, and a new outdoor sports complex.

The vote passed on Tuesday with 85% of votes in favor of the bond. The bond only needed 60% approval to pass.

Superintendent Janelle Brouwer says the activities complex is the first major project they’re focusing on, and that the district hopes to have it ready for the fall of 2022.

“It increases safety for our students, because we won’t have high school students driving back and forth to the field for practice and for games. We also will have a community who knows how to find the field when visitors come,” says Brouwer, “It also enhances our parking, and just the ADA accessibility, where students don’t have to contend with having ADA accessibility issues that have previously impacted a grandparent being able to come to a game.”

The new elementary school at Thomas Park will replace Starry Elementary. “Size-wise, space-wise, we’re okay in that building, however we have several ADA compliance concerns. Restroom facilities are not accessible, doorways in the building are not accessible, there’s not a secure entrance on the building,” says Brouwer.

With several of those major projects coming to the high school, Marion High School Principal Greg Semler says the upgrades will give students facilities to be proud of. “We have just incredible students. And now having a facility that matches that, and really moves them farther down the road as far as having everything top notch on their behalf, it’s just an exciting time for these kids,” says Semler.

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