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Oneida School District passes $29 million bond with overwhelming majority

The design of Oneida’s planned new elementary school | Courtesy Oneida School District 351
MALAD — Oneida School District 351 passed a $29 million bond with an overwhelming majority on Tuesday.
Now that the bond has been passed the district will move forward with its plans to construct a new elementary school.
Tuesday’s results show 86.7% of people voted in favor of the measure, while 13.3% voted against it. The total vote tally came to 1,270 in favor of the bond and 195 voting against it. The bond required a 66.7% supermajority to pass.
Superintendent Jon Abrams said the current elementary school has served students well since 1951, but it was built to the standards of that year.
“The new building is going to be built with all the safety features, all the technology, all the resources that are so helpful and needed for students in today’s world and we just really appreciate the support of patrons and helping to make it happen,” Abrams said.
According to the district’s information page, this new facility will be financed by the bond as well as the district’s savings. The district said they will not be spending all of their reserve savings to build the new school. The school is utilizing state bond equalization program, which means the state will pay back a portion of the cost of the bond for the school district.
The new elementary school will be located in Malad City in the same lot as the old elementary school, which will be demolished.
The district plans to start construction of the new elementary school in April of this year and have the school functional by August 2024.
The school is being designed by an architect the district used previously, with input from teachers, board members and community members. The district put out a bid to construction companies for the project ahead of the bond passing so that they could begin immediately when winter breaks. If the bond hadn’t passed, all of the bids would have been rejected.
The bid package will include a detailed breakdown of what the project is going to cost and it will be made available to the public.
The new elementary school will be a one-story building with a regular-sized gym. The school will also include dedicated special rooms including, but not limited to, a computer lab and music room.
The school will also have a separate lunch room, allowing the gym to be used throughout the entire school day.
The new elementary school will have a playground located behind the building as well as a larger parking lot for teachers and visitors.
As the district bonding capacity is just below $30 million, it can’t include the costs of building an auditorium and fieldhouse in the bond. The district plans to address that by passing future bonds. This bond does cover the costs of designing the auditorium and a potential field house.
The post Oneida School District passes $29 million bond with overwhelming majority appeared first on East Idaho News.

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