Frequently Asked Questions
What are the district’s needs?
While Gladbrook-Reinbeck schools continue to provide an excellent educational experience for students, our buildings have a number of facility needs that must be addressed soon. These include the following:
Several floor levels in our Junior High/High School are not handicap accessible. In many cases, handrails and landings at stairs do not meet code.
Mechanical facilities are also in need of upgrades, along with floor, wall, and ceiling finishes.
The roof on the Industrial Technology Center is 60 years old and is in need of replacing.
HVAC upgrades are needed to increase the efficiency of our systems and ensure a healthy learning environment for students.
Safety enhancements are needed to secure the entry to our Jr./Sr. High School building.
There is a lack of collaboration space for our students and gym space is minimal for basketball and wrestling. Students are regularly practicing until late at night due to the lack of space.
By acting now, we believe we can address these needs that will ensure we continue to provide excellent learning environments for students now and in the years to come.
What would happen if these needs are not addressed?
If we do not address these needs soon, the outstanding schools our community members have come to expect could be threatened. We believe the time has come to address our facility needs to ensure students continue to have access to the resources and spaces they need to be successful in the Gladbrook-Reinbeck Community School District.
What is the proposed solution to address these needs?
The School Board has placed a $23.6 million bond issue question on the ballot for September 13, 2022. If the question receives at least 60 percent approval, the district will move forward with the following facility projects:
Making every restroom and floor level handicap accessible
Secured entry in both buildings
HVAC system upgrades in both buildings
Renovations and updates in both buildings
Classroom additions to the elementary school
Gym expansion at the Jr./Sr. High School
The board decided to target these projects based on an 18-month facilities planning process and the input and feedback provided by district residents through a community-wide survey. We believe these projects would help maximize the opportunities to deliver and enhance educational experiences for students.
What did the board learn from the community survey earlier this year?
In January and February 2022, the district conducted a community-wide survey of all Gladbrook-Reinbeck residents.
According to the survey, residents consider the highest-priority needs to be HVAC system upgrades in both district buildings, making every restroom and floor level handicap accessible, adding a fire sprinkler system at the Junior/Senior High School, gym expansion at the Jr./Sr. High School, and a new elementary student commons and collaboration space.
About 77 percent of respondents said they strongly agree or agree that the district’s facility needs should be addressed now.
About 63 percent of respondents indicated they would approve of a potential bond issue question if it addressed the district’s needs while having a property tax impact of less than $15 per month on a home with an assessed value of $100,000.
How many students go to GR and what are the open enrollment numbers?
Gladbrook-Reinbeck saw a 62-student (about 12%) decrease in enrollment between the 2014-15 and 2015-16 school years, after the Gladbrook building closed. In the years since, our enrollment has stabilized. Enrollment for the 2021-22 school year was at 469, an eight-student increase compared to 2015-16.
The chart below outlines our enrollment numbers for the past several school years:
Last school year, 165 students open-enrolled out of GR, an increase from the 70 that did so in 2015-16. This means the district loses approximately an additional $900,000 per year in revenue. This is significant, but not nearly enough to address the district’s facility needs.
Will community members get to vote on the proposed solution to the district's facilities needs?
Yes. The School Board has approved a bond issue question that will appear on the ballot Tuesday, September 13, 2022.
How would an approved bond affect property taxes?
An approved bond would have a property tax impact of $199.58 annually ($16.63 per month) on a home assessed at $100,000. For agricultural land, the impact would be anywhere from $5.36 to $6.62 per acre annually, depending on the location in Tama, Black Hawk, Grundy, or Marshall County. See how the tax impact is calculated.
Gladbrook-Reinbeck currently has the 29th lowest tax levy rate in Iowa, out of more than 320 school districts. If the bond is approved, the district’s tax levy rate would still be lower than 143 other Iowa school districts.
District leaders and the School Board have been responsible stewards of taxpayer dollars and have looked for ways to reduce the impact on taxpayers as we maintain our facilities. However, we are at a point at which we cannot delay addressing our facility needs any longer.
How much revenue would an approved bond generate for the district?
If approved, the bond would provide the district with $23.6 million in additional revenue to address its space and facility needs.
When is election day?