MFL MarMac school board endorses ballot statement for facilities project petition

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By Audrey Posten, North Iowa Times

The MFL MarMac School Board, at its Dec. 9 meeting, endorsed the ballot statement for a petition that, if signed by at least 122 school district electors, would compel the board to call a special election for the proposed $7.8 million facilities bond referendum. 

The statement, which was written by MFL MarMac’s facilities committee, asks: “Shall the Board of directors of the MFL MarMac Community School District in the counties of Allamakee and Clayton, state of Iowa, be authorized to contract indebtedness and issue general obligation bonds  in an amount not to exceed $7.8 million to provide funds to construct, build, furnish and equip an elementary addition and a fieldhouse to the existing Monona school building, including related remodeling, and to make improvements and repairs to the McGregor school building?”

Superintendent Dale Crozier said the 122 signatures (25 percent of the number of people who voted in the last election) must be submitted by Jan. 17 in order to hold a special election in March.

“Technically,” he explained, “the board doesn’t vote on the petition. The petition is created by the community and brought to the board. The community would order the board to bring a vote to the public.”

If the bond measure passes, Crozier said a property owner would see an increase of around $88 in taxes per year on every $100,000 of assessed property. 

Crozier said the facilities project is in the best interest of students and will offer long-term sustainability for the district.

“By having good facilities, we’re going to draw people to our district, and enrollment is what drives us,” he stated. “The idea is not athletics, it’s enrollment.”

The MFL MarMac School Board released a statement in unanimous support of the facilities project last week. You can read the members’ thoughts below. 

Board holds organizational meeting

The board also held its annual organizational meeting on Dec. 9. Gina Roys was re-elected president and Tonya Meyer was selected as vice president. They join directors Brian Meyer, Jonathon Moser, Collin Stubbs, Roberta Hass and Joshua Grau.

The board approved a slight change to its meeting times. While still held the second Monday of each month, meetings will now begin at 6 p.m. rather than 7 p.m. The January, May and October meetings will be held in the library at the McGregor Center, and all other meetings will be in the high school library in Monona.


Board releases statement of support for facilities project

The MFL MarMac Board of Education is aware that a petition is currently in circulation to bring the concept of the Facilities Improvement Project to a vote. The statement below addresses the unanimous position of the board, which is allowable under the code up to the date of authorization to an election by the county. This statement was reviewed by the Iowa Campaign Ethics Director/Legal Counsel.  

MFL MarMac Board Position Statement on the Facilities Improvement Project

The board wishes to announce its unanimous support of the Facilities Improvement Project for the MFL MarMac community. The project involves expanding the elementary wing on the east and west entrances, expanding the bathrooms, as well as adding an academic commons space, a conference room, offices with a clear view of the east parking lot and improvements to the east parking lot. It includes the construction of one full competition gym which can be divided into two full-size practice courts, a walking/running track around the gym, an entrance commons area, concession stand, bathrooms and locker rooms. The facilities project also consists of many smaller items that include energy efficiency measures in both centers. The broad scope of the project will be funded by a general obligation bond and also will utilize current funds on hand and sales tax revenue. 

The board supports the project to benefit our students and community. Our participation rates at MFL MarMac have increased and we want this to continue to improve. The board realizes that a successful program consists of academics, athletics and fine arts, with academic achievement being the primary focus. The board also realizes the need for facilities that enhance opportunities for students. The broad scope of the project additionally supports equipment and infrastructure improvements for classrooms in both centers that provide STEM education.

The board believes the project will push the district to even higher levels and provide an opportunity that is unique to MFL MarMac. The district has already made improvements at both the Monona and McGregor facilities. These improvements include the construction of an office center, guidance office and conference room in McGregor, upgrading of the gym in McGregor with a new ceiling and bleachers, upgrading of classrooms in both centers, the addition of an auditorium in Monona, the addition of a new chorus room, a band room and elementary music room in Monona. We also constructed a new preschool room, a reading room and an elementary library. We have replaced virtually all of our roofs, replaced boilers in both centers, completed air conditioning in both centers, replaced playgrounds and playground equipment, and we have continuously upgraded and replaced our transportation fleet. We will continue to make improvements as necessary. We have two daycares in the community that help address the needs for young families. To date, our strategies to stop our enrollment decline and grow the district are working. The board believes the facilities improvement project will secure and solidify the future for the next generation. 

The board believes this project can only benefit the MFL MarMac district. Being a small community, we have little to draw new families in. Continued improvement to the district's academic, fine arts and athletic programs, as well as facilities, will make our community even more appealing and draw in those new families. 

More information on the Fieldhouse and Facilities Improvement Project will be available in the coming months.

President Gina Roys

Vice President Tonya Meyer

Members Brian Meyer, Joshua Grau, Collin Stubbs, Jonathon Moser and Roberta Hass

Former member Sharon Greener

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