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Bonneville Joint School District discusses 15-year plan

The survey for the new high school in the Bonneville School District is complete, here are the rankings:

Thunder Ridge Black Canyon Ridgeline Eastridge

For the school mascot:

Titans Phantoms Rebels Spartans

5,700 people voted in the survey. Voters were made up of parents, students, staff and anonymous. The top two choices were the same across each and every demographic. Now that the board has the popular opinion, it will still have the final say.

In that same meeting, the district talked about renewing its supplemental levy. Right now, the Bonneville School District has a $2.8 million levy and is looking at the potential of raising that by $3 million.

Predictions show that the levy will increase to $5.8 million total in the next school year, and will increase every two years at a four percent annual rate. This levy adds additional funding to the district on top of what it already receives from the state, and the money can go toward a number of things.

“So hours that were cut in previous years due to the recession — those can be restored. As salaries have been somewhat frozen over the last couple of years, we could look at increasing salaries for certain groups of employees that we have a hard time staffing. It could be used to buy textbooks and technology,” said the district assistant superintendent Scott Woolstenhulme.

The school district also reported it has the lowest dollar-per-student-levy compared to all other districts in the southeast Idaho area. It is looking to hopefully put this on the May 2017 ballot. The levy will need to be voted on and approved by a 50 percent-plus-one-vote.

Lastly, during the board’s work session Wednesday, members also discussed funding a new elementary school or classroom additions to existing schools.

The school district is still battling overcrowding. The new high school being built at 1st Street and Crowley may help the overflow of students, but it still leaves the crowding problem at the lower levels.

The board talked about figuring out design plans for expansion, and also talked about holding an elementary school bond to help in the construction.

“We need additional elementary classroom space. That is going to be some combination of additions to schools or new schools going forward. The district has several pieces of property currently available. They have one on the south, one on the north. That will just go where the growth is, ultimately, if a new school is built,” said the district’s director of facilities and operations John Pymm.

These concerns come after seeing fast-growing enrollment numbers.This year alone the school district saw more than 600 new students — a number enough to fill an entire new school.

The proposals for the elementary expansion and the supplemental levy are all a part of Bonneville School District’s 15-year plan.

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