Alpine School District authorizes $595 million bond election
The Alpine School District Board of Education passed a resolution Tuesday authorizing a $595 million bond election for Nov. 8.
The motion to approve the resolution received unanimous support at the Alpine School District Office.
A bond viability survey conducted by Y2 Analytics randomly sampled 1,641 likely voters within school district boundaries from May 15-31 and found that 61% of those surveyed would likely vote in favor of the bond.
Alpine is currently Utah’s largest school district with 83,999 enrolled students as of October 2021, and according to the bond study, the district is projected to grow by more than 2,500 students by 2027.
“We’re busting at the seams,” Kimberly Bird, director of internal relations and operations for Alpine School District, said during a presentation on the bond.
Aside from growth, the bond viability survey also cites the need for repair and replacement of the district’s aging and seismically unsound school buildings as well as a desired increase in security measures at school facilities as primary reasons for the bond.
No specific projects that would utilize this bond’s funding have yet been approved. According to Bird, Alpine’s capital team will meet at some point this fall to analyze the district’s current capital projects and construct a timeline before bringing that information forward to the public.
“We’ll do a capital campaign information tour that will go to all 93 schools but also to areas of the public … who may not have children attending Alpine School District,” she said. “It’s important for us to help provide them information about the why, the how, and how it will impact taxes.”
“We’re not trying to be deceptive in presenting the numbers here,” board member Ada Wilson said.
The last bond set by the school district was for $387 million in 2016. That funding was used to complete 22 capital projects, including the construction of Cedar Valley High School, two middle schools and seven elementary schools.
Board member Sarah Beeson expressed concern about the possibility that the district may not be able to complete projects within budget due to rising inflation. Rob Smith, Alpine School District business administrator, assured the board that the district has been able to overcome financial hurdles in the past in order to complete all capital projects.
“Alpine School District, regardless of funds, has completed every project that it has put on a bond to the public,” Smith said. “Whether that be through bond dollars or capital dollars, or through our building authority, we have completed every project … so this board has been not only transparent in that effect, but it has kept its commitments.”