Early voting in Ada and Canyon counties got under way on Monday. Voters will be deciding on a number of school bonds and levies. If you live in Boise, your ballot includes a $172.5 million bond for the Boise School District.
The money would provide funding for maintenance, repairs, and improvements at every school in the Boise School District. A total of 48 different projects.
"52 percent of our buildings were built more than a half century ago. They're in desperate need of attention from the standpoint of leaking roofs," district spokesman Dan Hollar said.
Nearly half of those 48 projects are considered major capital improvements and will receive a bulk of the funding. The 22 major improvements include the complete rebuilding and replacing of six elementary schools in the district, a new school in the Harris Ranch area, remodels of Collister and Washington elementary schools, an expansion of Timberline High, and the remodel of Boise High School's gymnasium.
"This is a reinvestment in our schools to raise our modern education standards from our facilities standpoint and better able to match the education, the first-rate education that our students are getting in our facilities because right now we have significant needs when it comes to our buildings," Hollar said.
When it comes to funding, the district says the bond would not raise taxes because it's replacing a 2012 levy and 1996 bond that are expiring.
"Those fall off, passage of the bond would then take that place. The rate would remain the same, the property tax rate," Hollar said.
Hollar tells KTVB that if the bond does not pass, the district would consider using more portable classrooms, changing the school boundaries, and possibly using general fund dollars to address critical facility needs.
Hollar added it also doesn't mean homeowners could see a decrease in the tax rate with the levy and bond coming off of the books. Hollar says if the bond doesn't pass, the school board could decide to keep the tax rate current and accelerate paying off a bond that was passed in 2006.