$51 Million Bond Issue to Be Decided By Johnston School District Voters

A special election will determine the fate of a proposed new Johnston High School.

Are you willing to commit $51 million toward the cost of a new Johnston High School?

That's the question Johnston school district voters will have to answer on Sept. 11.

On Monday, the Johnston school board approved a resolution ordering a special election on the issuance of general obligation bonds not to exceed $51 million in order to construct, build, furnish and equip a .

Since the board , district residents have collected 1,021 signatures on a petition in order for the special election to move forward.

On Monday, Jacqueline Kiple formally presented the board with the petition, which had been checked by board secretary Cindy Taylor for eligible signatures.

The district only needed to collect 525 signatures to place the measure on a ballot.

Superintendent Clay Guthmiller thanked Kiple and other residents who put in time collecting signatures for the petition.

"This speaks highly of the support we have," Guthmiller said.

Earlier in the evening Guthmiller gave the board a quick update on the progress of building specifics.

"There are a couple of components that we need to further discuss as a board pending a little more work," he said.

One of the components is the size of the new high school's theater. Board members had discussed at length whether the auditorium should hold 900 seats or 1,200. The larger of which would cost about $1.7 million more.

The second component is whether the district should renovate the current stadium or move it to the new proposed high school location west of Northwest 100th Street and north of Northwest 62nd Avenue.

The board approved the in November for the price of $5.75 million.

The special election will cover only a portion of the , which includes repurposing the current high school, middle school and Wallace Elementary. The majority of the project cost will be paid for through PPEL and sales tax revenue.

Guthmiller said the district is looking at a timeline of July 30 to Sept. 11 for promoting the proposed high school and facility changes.


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