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West Ada just got the funding to build a new high school and restore teaching positions

Exploding enrollment spills into high school halls, parking lots

Four of West Ada School District's five high schools are over capacity. The district is asking voters to approve a $95 million bond March 13 to build a $60 million high school near Ustick Road to ease overcrowding, among other facilities projects.
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Four of West Ada School District's five high schools are over capacity. The district is asking voters to approve a $95 million bond March 13 to build a $60 million high school near Ustick Road to ease overcrowding, among other facilities projects.

Voters in the West Ada School District approved a $95 million bond and approved a renewal of a $14 million levy on Election Day.

The bond, which needed a 66-and-two-thirds percent supermajority to pass, received 10,161 total votes in favor of the measure and 4,877 votes against, or roughly 67.6 percent in favor and 32.4 percent opposed. The levy, which needed a simple majority of 50 percent plus one vote to pass, received 10,416 total votes in favor and 4,726 against, or roughly 68.8 percent in favor and 31.2 percent opposed.

Eric Exline, spokesman for the district, said exploding student enrollment growth with no signs of slowing down requires the district to run a bond measure nearly every two to three years. Four of the district’s five high school are at or over capacity, especially Rocky Mountain and Eagle high schools.

The bond will provide $60 million for a high school near Ustick and McDermott roads and $16 million for an elementary school on donated land on the east side of Blackcat Road between Chinden Boulevard and McMillan Road, among other projects.

The levy, which has been renewed by voters three times since March 2012, will provide $14 million to bring back teaching and staff positions, as well as other programming, lost due to budget cuts during the Great Recession.

A total of 15,038 votes were cast in the bond election and 15,142 were cast in the levy election.

OTHER LOCAL MEASURES ON THE CANYON COUNTY BALLOT

Along with the small sliver of the West Ada School District boundaries that fall within Canyon County, four other school districts in Canyon County asked voters to pass bond and levy measures. Bonds require a 66-and-two-thirds-percent super majority to pass. Levies require a simple majority — 50 percent plus one vote — to pass.

▪ The Caldwell School District ran a supplemental levy for $2.5 million per year for two years. Voters approved the measure, with 491 votes in favor and 312 votes against. That’s 61.15 percent in favor, and 38.85 against. The levy will help the district maintain music, physical education and career technical education programs, as well as other extra curricular opportunities.

▪ The Middleton School District ran a bond for $25 million. Voters rejected the measure, with 934 votes in favor and 620 votes against. That’s 60.1 percent in favor, and 39.9 against. The bond would have funded the design and construction of a fourth elementary school, as well as provided money to purchase land for a future middle school site and an additional elementary school.

▪ The Parma School District ran a bond for $5 million. Voters rejected the measure, with 254 votes in favor and 140 against. That’s 64.47 percent in favor and 35.53 against. The bond would have been used to construct a new agricultural education building, expand the high school band room, replace unusable middle school tennis courts, replace stadium bleachers, repair the track, upgrade stadium lighting and upgrade security systems throughout the district, according to the district.

▪ The Wilder School District ran a bond for $5 million. Voters rejected the measure, with 131 votes in favor and 184 votes against. That’s 41.59 percent in favor, and 58.41 against. The bond would have upgraded lunchroom and kitchen facilities, as well as constructed new agriculture education classrooms and a shop.

A total of 3,090 ballots were counted in Canyon County.

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