TWIN FALLS -- Overcrowded schools and continued growth in Twin Falls are the impetus for a nearly $74 million school bond.
Voters will decide on the issue during an election on Tuesday, March 11.
School leaders tell us the money would pay for three new schools, an addition to a current school, and upgraded security throughout the district.
They tell us the student population is growing quickly and the schools are needed now.
The school district is now asking voters to approve the bond for nearly $74 million over 25 years.
Director of Operations Brady Dickinson says without this bond the current overcrowding will only get worse since all 12 schools in the district are at capacity.
In the fall, all of them will be over capacity, so we are out of room, said Dickinson.
Dickinson says the money will pay for two new elementary schools and one new middle school.
He says since the student population has grown 4 percent the last 2 years, so new classrooms are needed now.
In order to sustain this economic growth and continue it, we need to be able to insure that our schools can handle the new students coming in to our district, said Dickinson.
As for the cost to taxpayers, property tax rates would go up about 15 percent.
The school district tells us for a home valued at $150,000 that would mean a tax increase of about $50 a year.
It's a rather small increase when you consider we're going to be building three new schools for this increase, said Dickinson.
Dickinson says if the bond doesn't pass, the district will have to consider adding modular units, or allowing students to meet in areas like the cafeteria and gym instead of classrooms.
City manager Travis Rothweiler agrees, and says the economy is booming.
He says that means the population is increasing as well, by 10,000 in 10 years.
Having a good strong education system helps us create the workforce we will need as we continue to grow, strengthen and diversify our economy, said Rothweiler.
Polls will be open from 8 a.m. until 8 p.m. on March 11, it will take a super-majority, two-thirds voter approval for the bond to pass.
The last school bond Twin Falls passed was in 2006.
That was a $49 million bond over 20 years to build Canyon Ridge High School.