Group encourages people to vote no on $495M Jordan School District bond

Published: Monday, Oct. 28 2013 4:55 p.m. MDT

Herriman High students leave school Friday, May 31, 2013. A grass-roots effort is underway in the southwest end of the valley of Salt Lake County to derail the Jordan School Districts efforts to encourage voters to pass a $495 million bond.

Scott G Winterton, Deseret News

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SOUTH JORDAN — A grass-roots effort is underway in the southwest end of the Salt Lake Valley to derail the Jordan School District's efforts to encourage voters to pass a $495 million bond.

Erin Weist created the Facebook group Vote No for Jordan District Bond, saying it's just too much money.

“We are seeing schools currently that are underutilized, so we are proposing this enormous bond looking to the future when currently we are under-enrolled," Weist said. "And it seems unnecessary and excessive."

Jordan officials say the district will need eight new elementary schools, two middle schools and one high school, as well as upgrades to existing schools by 2019 to handle growth in the district.

The $495 million bond would cost the average homeowner about $300 a year and the average business about $550 a year.

“If we are going to incur this much debt, it needs to be for things that are bare bones, essential and crucial, not for building really extravagant, sort of new age schools,” Weist said. “We can kind of deal with what we have in this current economy.”

On its website, the Jordan School District outlines how the money will be spent, should the bond pass. Last week, district officials said new buildings will be "sensible, energy-efficient" and have a "75-year life span."

District officials also said the new buildings "are not lavish, rather durable and constructed to enhance the educational learning environment."

The group plans to voice its concerns at Tuesday's school board meeting.

“We have no problems giving money to education and improving things,” Weist said. “We do have a problem with it being mishandled.”

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