Deadline looms for CRCSD bond referendum to make it to ballot

Time is ticking for the Cedar Rapids Community School District
Published: Sep. 16, 2023 at 10:32 PM CDT
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CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (KCRG) - Time is ticking for the Cedar Rapids Community School District (CRCSD).

In August, the School Board put forward a $220 million bond referendum to redesign, replace, and renovate the district’s middle and high schools. Now, the “Vote Yes to Invest!” committee has until September 22 to collect a total of about 6,400 signatures to put the referendum on the ballot this November.

About ten volunteers, including the superintendent and several school board members of the CRCSD spent their Saturday morning knocking on doors and taking down names.

“It’s been a race,” said Scott Drzycimski, Chair of the “Vote Yes to Invest!” committee.

The district has had an about six-and-a-half week window to get those 6,400 signatures, and the deadline is less than a week.

Organizers did not share how many signatures they already had, but Drzycimski said, “We would like to get about 2,000 more signatures before the end of Monday night.“

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

“The only school that would be impacted with a closure would actually be a replacement, and that would be Harding, would be updated or replaced,” said Drzycimski. “There’s a lot of information out there about all the west side schools closing. There’s actually not any impact of the west side middle schools in this bond issue.“

If the bond is put to a vote and then passes, it would mean a slight increase in property taxes, about $135 a year for a house valued at $100,000 dollars.

Drzycimski said it’s all about investment.

“The comparison that I make is that it’s very much like setting aside a little bit of money now for retirement. It hurts maybe a little bit to not have that money today. But when we get to retirement, it’ll be nice to have a nest egg there to take care of us.”

Final signature-collecting events will be Monday, 4:30 p.m. - 6:30 p.m. at Kennedy, Jefferson, and Washington High Schools.