Ad-Express and Daily Iowegian, Centerville, IA

March 20, 2013

Last informational meeting March 26 before bond issue vote April 2

By Michael Schaffer - Managing editor
Daily Iowegian

MORAVIA — April 2 all registered voters in the Moravia Community School District will decide the fate of a bond issue to build a new gymnasium and six new classrooms.

March 26 at 7 p.m. an informational meeting for the public will be held at the school. Two other informational hearings were held, one on Feb. 11 and the other on March 11.

Moravia School District Superintendent Brad Breon visited the Daily Iowegian Friday morning. His visit was one to explain the bond and expansion plans at the school.

The school district wants to construct a new gymnasium connected to the northwest side of the existing complex and would include a weight room, wrestling room and home locker room. Six new classrooms with two restrooms and an utility room connected to the elementary side of the existing building would be devoted to grades four through six.

"The nice thing is, we're going to be able to put all of our elementary now in the elementary," Breon said.

The last few years, because of increased enrollment, some elementary classes had to be held in the high school and any other space they could find, Breon said.

"Well, anyway, we're just running out of space," Breon said.

The Moravis School District is expected to add 15 new students through open enrollment this fall, Breon said, and total enrollment would top 400 for the first time since he arrived.

Several things have happened that accounts for a slight drop in the school tax rate and overall cost of the project.

The district plans to use the existing locker room for visiting teams. The state is expected to approve at least 2 percent in allowable growth. The school district plans to use some of its Local Option Sales and Service Tax money. The bonds issued 20 years ago to build the existing elementary facility will be paid off this summer.

"Once we didn't pass the first one, we listened to the community," Breon said. "We listened and I think we've responded to their cries."

Breon said their first attempt was to bond for the entire amount but public opinion said to use some LOSST money.

The district's new bonding plan calls for the use of $1 million in LOSST money and $2.5 million in bonds.

Breon said if the plan is approved, the school districts effective tax rate would go from its current 15.01 percent to 14.97 percent.

"This whole thing is not going to cost anymore to the taxpayers then they are currently paying now," Breon said. "It's a no brainer to me unless you just don't want to invest in the school."

Complete information regarding the bonding and expansion project at Moravia Community School District can be found at their website, www.moravia.k12.ia.us.