The Need: Address growth and repair and maintain existing infrastructure. The Solution: A $475 million bond that will not increase the current tax rate. The Results: The district completed 212 projects after voters approved its 2015 bond.
Davis School District is recognized locally and nationally for high graduation rates, innovative approaches to education and being one of the largest school districts in Utah. The district motto of “Learning First” is more than just a tagline – it’s a commitment to create successful educational experience for each of the 73,000 children enrolled in 92 schools.
One way the district supports student learning is through the physical school structures. It wants every building to be a safe and engaging environment for learning. To meet this promise, aging buildings need updates to meet today’s learning standards.
Similarly, population growth along the Wasatch Front is rising at a steady pace and classroom sizes follow those patterns in stride. As more and more students attend DSD schools, space is needed to accommodate them.
To meet current needs and proactively prepare for the future, a bond election will be on the November 8th ballot to invest in our children, education and the future of the community.
When passed, this bond will allow DSD to build a new junior high and elementary school, rebuild two existing schools and remodel and expand seven schools. The district plans to make dozens of needed safety, maintenance and mechanical upgrades to classrooms and buildings across the district, as well as purchase land for future school sites in the areas of Davis County with highest projected growth.
Two of Davis School District's oldest buildings have significant repair needs that can detract from student learning.
For Bountiful Elementary and Sunset Junior High, it is more cost-effective to tear them down and build brand new. These buildings are the only two schools left in the district without air conditioning and they lack the safety features, disability accommodations and equitable learning space one would expect in a modern school. Rebuilding these schools is a top priority for 2022 bond funds.
Bountiful Elementary - Projected Completion Fall 2024
Sunset Junior High Rebuild - Projected Completion Fall 2025
Seven schools are on the list for major remodels or expansions. They are:
Bountiful High - if the bond passes, BHS will build a new school entry, office, AC, football stadium (with associated entryway to the stadium, ticket and concession booths, restrooms) and eight-lane track and turf field. Projected completion Fall 2025.
Clearfield High - if the bond passes, CHS will undergo classroom upgrades, window replacements in B & C wings, a remodel of S Hall, improvements to the office and counseling areas and build a new commons area. Projected completion Fall 2025.
Layton High - if the bond passes, LHS will construct an addition of new classrooms to address student body population growth, a new science wing and remodel of existing classrooms as determined by need. Projected completion Fall 2026.
Kaysville Junior High - if the bond passes, KJH will build a new gymnasium. Projected completion Fall 2026.
Burton Elementary - if the bond passes, Burton Elementary will receive an office remodel with a re-route vestibule. Projected completion Fall 2026.
Clinton Elementary - if the bond passes, Clinton Elementary will remodel its front office and update the playground, parking lot and re-route vestibule. Projected completion Fall 2024 (note: the timeline for this project determined by UDOT project to widen 1800 N and subject to change).
Vae View Elementary - if the bond passes, Vae View Elementary will build a covered courtyard to serve as multi-use space and additional classrooms. Projected completion date Fall 2027.
Smaller projects around the district will make every cent of bond money count. Davis School District plans to update address A/C systems in auditoriums and gymnasiums, upgrade energy systems, update kitchens and windows, install playground equipment and upgrade restrooms and tracks where they are needed the most.
Using funding for the last bond cycle, the district completed 212 additional projects.
The district also looks forward to installing air conditioning in five high school gyms and building new track and turf fields at three junior highs in the north, central and south portions of the school district.
With 92 schools in Davis School District and a limited number of financial resources, it takes careful planning to anticipate construction needs in DSD buildings.
When students enter their school’s doors, hangout in its hallways and learn inside classrooms every day, they cause the normal wear and tear you’d expect with the district's enrollment of 72,000 students.
As years pass, it’s natural that buildings, equipment and technology need to be repaired, replaced and updated.
The district uses a special triage system to determine which buildings are in most urgent need of repair.
Bond projects can address a building’s systems, such as air conditioning, HVAC and plumbing, or its physical structures, such as the windows, restrooms, kitchens and gyms. Bond money must be used for school construction and improvement. Legally, it cannot be used for operational expenses, salaries or anything else.
No Tax Rate Increase Promise
How can Davis School District propose a building improvement and construction bond without increasing the tax rate?
First, the $475 million Building Generations Bond will not cause a tax rate increase because rising property values, new homes and new businesses contribute to a broader tax base in Davis County. As long as taxable value in the county stays consistent or continues rising, families in Davis County can anticipate no tax rate increases with the passing of the 2022 bond.
Furthermore, the district's continues to pay off existing debts as scheduled. When new bonds are issued, payments are layered into the districts existing debts as old bonds are retired. Fiscal responsibility is important to Davis School District, which is why the district aims to keep property tax rates steady when new bonds are sold.
"The Davis School District is asking voters to approve a $475 million bond for new schools and improvements during next week's election.
Other bonds are now being paid off so the district said an approved bond won't cause tax rates to increase. Combine that with new homes and businesses that are paying into the broader tax base, homeowners won't see an increase as long as values remain high."
“There’s a double urgency in my mind,” John Robison, president of the Davis school board, said Wednesday. Two aging schools in particular need to be rebuilt, Sunset Junior High School and Bountiful Elementary, he said, and more facilities are needed to accommodate booming population growth in the northwest part of Davis County around West Point, abutting Weber County.
"If approved, the district plans to use the financing to rebuild Sunset Jr. High School and Bountiful Elementary, which are among the oldest schools in the district. A new elementary and junior high are also planned to be built in northwest Davis County to accommodate population growth in that area."
"A proposed $475 million bond would allow [the district] to have AC in 100% of its schools and go towards remodeling older schools like Clearfield High and rebuilding Sunset Jr. High... Because of the growth in the county and the increase in property values, the bond that’s expected to be on the November ballot would not require an additional tax increase."