Bellevue School District asks voters to approve $16 million for new elementary school

By  | 

DUBUQUE, Iowa (KCRG-TV9) -- The Bellevue School District is asking voters to approve a bond referendum that would give the district up to $16 million to build a new elementary school.

A drawing shows plans for a proposed elementary school in Bellevue. (Bellevue School District)

Superintendent Tom Meyer said the current building is outdated, at capacity and lacking in educational needs.

For example, he said the current building does not have large, collaborative learning spaces.

He said they need spaces for, "more hands-on learning, more of that STEM, Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematical learning that takes space for students to have and to do that solely in a classroom is very difficult."

He said many of the classrooms are at capacity or not set up correctly for the subject that's being taught. For example, the art room is in a former computer lab and does not have running water, which is often needed in an art classroom.

The music classes are taught on the stage that's in the gym, separated only by a stage curtain. Meyer said it can get loud and distracting for the music students when things are happening in the gym.

The district would also like to have more green spaces for their students. Currently, the playground has no grass.

Meyer said building a new school is about planning for the future of Bellevue.

"We want to prepare students for their future. It's an investment in the future of our students, of the school district and in our community," he said.

Meyer said to renovate or add onto the building would cost almost as much, up to $13 million.

Meyer said the district is asking for $16 million, but hope the project would come under budget.

People who live in the district can vote on September 11, 2018 at the Bellevue Community Center. In addition to the $16 million, voters will also be asked to allow for the district to levy at a higher rate, up to $4.05. In order to pay the $16 million, it will require a levy in excess of

To go forward, the project needs both ballot issues to be
passed by a 60% voter approval.

If the project is approved, Meyer said the old elementary school will be repurposed for something the community needs, like a child care center or senior living facility.

To learn more, visit the  school district's website.