Voters in the Waukee School District overwhelmingly approved a $117 bond referendum for a second high school on Tuesday.
The issue easily cleared the 60 percent threshold needed for passage, with more than 90 percent of the more than 3,000 voters voting "yes." Unofficially, 2,988 voters voted "yes," while just 322 voted "no."
The school is slated to open in the fall of 2021.
The Waukee School Board announced plans to open a second high school in May of 2016 and approved the schematic design in August of 2017.
The facility will be located on 160 acres of land north of Hickman Road and east of 10th Street. The school facilities, including sports fields, will be located on the southern two-thirds of that land, with the city owning the other third and constructing a new Waukee Youth Sports Complex.
The schematic design was approved back in August of 2017 and was oriented to maximize views from the classrooms and academic areas to the pond and to create views to the main entry from the public access points.
The building will have a functional capacity of 1,800 students. The current high school is already at 99 percent of its functional capacity of 1,969 students and it is projected that the district will have around 2,500 students by the time the second school opens in the fall of 2021.
The Waukee Community School District is currently the eighth biggest in the State of Iowa and the only district in the state with more than 10,000 students and only one high school. The District says it grows by about 560 students per year.
About $1 million of the total $117 million will be used to complete upgrades to the current high school as well.
It was explained during a series of public information meetings earlier this year that approving the bond referendum would not have an impact on property taxes for residents of the School District.
A committee is currently in the process of developing news boundaries for the elementary students, effective for the 2019-20 school year, and the high schools, effective for the 2021-22 school year. A recommendation is expected in November, and approval by the School Board is expected in December.