Cedar Rapids school district’s $220 million bond referendum moves closer to ballot

The Cedar Rapids Community School District has approved the exact wording for a multi-million dollar bond proposal.
Published: Aug. 7, 2023 at 10:42 PM CDT
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CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (KCRG) - In just three months, voters could decide if they want to spend millions of dollars updating Cedar Rapids schools.

Monday night, the Cedar Rapids Community School District (CRCSD) School Board approved the exact wording of a bond referendum.

If this $220 million bond referendum passes in November, it would fund the redesign, replacement, and renovation of the district’s middle and high schools. It would also mean that, for a homeowner with a house valued at $100,000, they would pay about $135 more a year in property taxes.

The bond would include funding for the following:

  • new land
  • a new middle school built on that land
  • career and technical education additions at three high schools
  • new turf fields at three high schools
  • renovations to cafeteria and kitchen at Kennedy
  • updates to Metro High School’s gym
  • renovations at Franklin Middle School

A new aquatic center is not on the list. It had been part of the plan, but has been pulled out of the bond vote. According to CRCSD Chief Operations Officer Jonathan Galbraith, the pool is still an area of uncertainty. He said the district has money set aside for the center outside of the bond vote, and it is looking into community partners for that project.

The district has said many of its schools are outdated and under-utilized. District members have said having schools operate below capacity means losing millions of dollars. Members of city council recently pushed back against the district’s plan.

In order to get the referendum on the ballot, the district needs about 6,400 petition signatures before September 22.