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School Completion Bond FAQs

Q: Didn’t the 2021 bond for the new elementary school include funds for remodeling Jefferson?

 

A: The 2021 bond did include funds for a partial remodel of Jefferson, but did not include funds for remodeling the classrooms and restrooms or for the replacement of plumbing and electrical systems. Unfortunately, in the aftermath of Covid, construction costs in our area have increased significantly, as they have across the rest of the nation. After receiving bids for the completion of the new elementary school, this has left the district with no money for the planned partial remodel of Jefferson.

 

Q: Why is this the right time to do a complete remodel of Jefferson Elementary School?

 

A: There are three main reasons why this is the right time to do a full remodel of Jefferson. First, Jerome’s new elementary school will be ready to open in fall 2023. By preserving the existing enrollment structures at Horizon and Summit for one additional year, all Jefferson students could be temporarily relocated to the new school for one year while Jefferson is remodeled. This would spare the students and staff of Jefferson the inconvenience and safety hazards associated with occupying Jefferson while remodeling is underway. Once the Jefferson remodel is completed in fall 2024, all four elementary schools in Jerome would become K-6 elementary schools. Second, remodeling Jefferson while it is empty in the fall of 2023 and the spring of 2024 would allow the project to be completed quickly and at a substantially lower cost than a phased remodel while students and staff are in the building. Finally, a full remodel would bring Jefferson up to the same educational and safety standards as Jerome’s other three elementary schools.

Q: How will this comprehensive remodel of Jefferson put it on par with the other three elementary schools?

 

A: This would be the first major remodel of the whole school, which was originally built in 1956. After the remodel is complete, the inside of Jefferson will be almost like a new school. The cafeteria, kitchen, and gymnasium will all be renovated, along with remodeled classrooms and restrooms. Safety at the school will also be increased by adding fire sprinkling systems throughout, automated door locks, and updated plumbing and electrical systems.

 

Q: Will the Jerome Completion bond raise the tax levy rate?

 

A: No, the solid financial position of the school district and Jerome’s expanding economy allows for a $12 million bond for 20 years while leaving the tax levy rate the same.

Q: Would this bond qualify to receive assistance from the State’s Bond Levy Equalization program?

 

A: Yes, the State of Idaho program provides financial assistance to school districts to help pay the bond interest costs over the life of the bond.