Nampa wants voters’ help on aging school facilities. Here’s how much it could cost

Sarah A. Miller/smiller@idahostatesman.com

Nampa voters will decide in March whether to approve a $210.2 million bond proposal to address aging facilities and safety upgrades for the Nampa School District.

The district’s school board on Monday voted 4-1 to run the bond, which will appear on the March 14 ballot. It is the first bond the district has run since 2007, spokesperson Kathleen Tuck said.

If passed, the funds would go toward several projects, including replacing Nampa High School and Centennial Elementary, constructing a new career and technical center, renovating athletic facilities and other parts of schools, and implementing safety and security projects throughout the district.

The estimated cost to replace Nampa High School — which was built in the 1950s — is $100 million, the most expensive project on the list.

Tuck said the district has put a lot of money into the school over the years, but there is “a lot that needs to be done.” The high school is also made up of several separate buildings, which Tuck said is a challenge today, and it’s not “equitable” with the other campuses.

“The idea is to tear it down and build a brand new Nampa High that has all of the things that we know that we need, instead of band-aiding it together as we’ve been doing,” she told the Idaho Statesman.

Centennial Elementary School was built in the 1970s, Tuck said, and it would be more cost-effective to build a new school than to continue an “overwhelming” number of individual repairs to the aging facility.

“Things are failing,” Tuck said. “They’re older schools, and we patch things up and we replace things along the way, but there becomes a point where you sort of get to a critical mass where you have a lot of things that need to be done.”

The bond will cost about $32 per $100,000 of a home’s assessed value, according to the district.

Two-thirds of voters must approve the bond for it to pass.

School districts across Idaho have been struggling for years to maintain and repair aging facilities. Bonds are the main way districts can fund new construction, but many districts across the state have faced challenges in getting bonds passed, leaving them with few other options.

The Idaho Statesman has teamed up with ProPublica’s Local Reporting Network to look at school conditions in Idaho. If you have something you’d like to tell us, call or email reporter Becca Savransky at 208-495-5661 or bsavransky@idahostatesman.com.