ADM leadership lays out rationale for school bond referendum

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ADM Superintendent of Schools Greg Dufoe, standing left, and ADM School Board President Tim Canney, standing right, presented information Tuesday night behind the school board's decision to seek financing for construction of a new elementary school.


The leadership of the Adel-De Soto-Minburn Community School District hosted an informational meeting Tuesday night, laying out facts about the district’s growing enrollment and explaining the school board’s rationale for seeking public approval to build a new elementary school.

ADM School Board President Tim Canney welcomed about 50 community members to the meeting in the ADM High School auditorium, thanking them for braving the fairly heavy rain then falling at the start of the 6:30 p.m. meeting.

ADM Superintendent Greg Dufoe delivered a 40-slide presentation that outlined the district’s ongoing mission to attain its educational goals, which must be realized at the intersection of enrollment and infrastructure. A simple bar graph of current and projected enrollment largely proves the need for more classrooms, now at or near capacity.

Enrollment at ADM Community School District is projected to grow by about 1,000 students by 2029. Current enrollment is 1,882. Source: ADMCSD

Travis Squires, managing director of public financing at Piper Jaffray, explained how financing the $18 million elementary school could be accomplished without increasing the debt service tax levy rate or the overall school tax levy rate.

About $15.75 million of the project would be financed through the sale of general obligation bonds, with the remainder paid out of the district’s Secure an Advanced Vision for Education (SAVE) sales tax fund. Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds will sign a bill Friday extending the SAVE tax to 2051.

ADM’s Director of Innovative Learning and Communication Travis Wilkins was also on hand Tuesday, drawing attendees attention to the 2018-2019 Facility Master Plan¬†as well as extensive online materials about the June 25 bond referendum. Early voting on the school bond began May 16.

Adel Mayor Jim Peters was in the audience and reminded attendees that some 800 property-tax-abated houses in Adel will enter the district’s tax rolls beginning in 2020, a revenue spurt that will soothe some of the district’s growing pains, themselves a result in part of the growth spike caused by the city’s blight-based establishment of an urban renewal area and property tax abatement program.

The district’s last bond referendum in 2014 passed with an 84 percent approval rate. The borrowing paid for additions at the Adel Elementary School, De Soto Intermediate School and Adel Middle School/High School.

A second informational meeting will be held Wednesday, June 12 at 6:30 p.m. in the ADM High School auditorium. The event is free and open to the public.

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