After more than a year of facility review, the Pella Community school board has scheduled a vote on a $29.1 million school bond issue. The vote will take place on April 2 with polls open from 7 am-8 pm. Voting will take place at three locations: the Pella Legion Building (829 Broadway in Pella), Otley Reformed Church (700 Johnston St. in Otley) and Leighton Christian Reformed Church at 415 Reid St. in Leighton).
Registered voters who live in the Pella Community School district are eligible to vote. Information about voter registration and absentee voter ballots are available online at www.pella.k12.ia.us.
“We are encouraging people to become informed about the proposed renovations and building projects,” said Greg Ebeling, superintendent. “There is a link on the school’s web site at www.pella.k12.ia.us that shares information on this issue.”
In developing the list of projects, the school district brought together a group of about 50 educators, parents and community leaders who toured the education facilities and identified facility strengths and areas of concern. This information was prioritized and approximate costs were gathered.
A second committee was put together by the school administration to review the work and address additional questions regarding facilities. At the conclusion of this work, the Pella Community Board of Education reviewed the information and voted to hold a special election on April 2, 2013.
The bond issue, if approved, will fund a significant number of improvements throughout the district. One of the projects is to build, furnish and equip a Career Academy building in partnership between DMACC. Both Pella Community and Pella Christian students will be able to receive dual credit in nine career areas.
“Vermeer is one of many local manufacturing companies with an abundance of exciting opportunities to offer a skilled workforce,” said CEO Mary Andringa. “Those skill sets are often a challenge for the manufacturing industry to find. A Career Academy would help people of all ages discover unique skills and career advancement, while growing manufacturing jobs and the local economy. In addition to wonderful preschool through college programs already in existence, we would do well to attract people to yet another exceptional learning opportunity in the Pella area.”
Other projects include:
-Renovations to Pella High School including commons area, drop off/pick up, arts addition (including art department, choir room, scene shop, etc), athletic renovation/addition (including wrestling room addition, fitness/weight room expansion, locker room addition/renovation), administration addition, and bring facility up to code for Americans with Disabilities Act.
-Build, furnish and equip a new elementary school building to replace Lincoln Elementary -- to be built at existing Lincoln site.
-Redesign entrances at the high school, middle school, and Jefferson for better safety for our students. Other security issues will include security cameras, door access/card readers, interior door locks, etc.
-Additional renovations to Jefferson Intermediate School and Madison Elementary Schools.
Detailed information about the proposed projects is available online at www.pella.k12.ia.us and at http://pellachronicle.com/schools/x564670084/Pella-Schools-Facility-Plans. More information regarding the Bond Issue can be found at www.pellabondinfo.com.