Voters in the Linden Community Schools district will see a $55-million bond proposal on the Nov. 3 General Election ballot.
In early spring, the Linden Board of Education approved moving the proposal from the May election to November due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“The November ballot proposal contains the same projects as the May 5 proposal, and the net tax rate increase will also remain the same — 1.0 mill. To reduce overall bond interest cost, the bonds will be sold in three series,” according to a press release.
The $55-million bond proposal is a 1-mill increase on the approximate 3.9 existing mills already paid by those in the school district, totaling 4.8 mills. The money would go toward upgrades in every school building for security, technology, STEM (science, technology, engineering, math) classrooms, and instructional development.
It would also go toward a new multipurpose building that would be constructed between Linden High School and Linden Middle School. It would serve as a hub for gymnastics, team rooms for games, a wrestling room, an area for robotics programs, court space, a walking track and more.
The proposal would fund a media center to Linden Elementary School and expand the Linden High School Media Center, as well as fund secure entrances to Central, Hyatt, and Linden Elementary, Linden Middle School, and Linden High School.
The proposal would relocate the Early Childhood Center from its current Argentine location and move it to Hyatt Elementary.
“The school district worked with construction and architectural specialists to complete an in-depth facility study in early 2019. The overall focus was to identify projects designed to upgrade and enhance the learning environment,” according to the press release on lindenschoolsbond.com.
“The bond proposal was developed following a review of the facility study by the school district’s Facilities Needs Committee and Strategic Planning Leadership Group that regularly meet to assess Linden’s school environment and make recommendations for Board of Education consideration. The assessment process also included conducting a stakeholder survey as part of the school district’s strategic planning process.”
Superintendent Russ Ciesielski said, “The facility assessment process led to a bond proposal that will affect every classroom and instructional space in the Linden Community Schools. If this proposal is approved by voters, it will address our education and facility priorities. A successful bond proposal will provide the school district with revenue to update and enhance our school facilities and provide a positive learning environment that supports quality instruction.”
School Board President Scott Maker said that he and his School Board colleagues believe voter approval of the ballot proposal will be a significant step toward a positive future for Linden students and the Linden community. “We have a long history of community support for schools. Our residents understand that a successful election will have a positive impact on student achievement, homeowner property values, and the Linden community’s enviable reputation,” he said.