Urges Yes vote on Mid-Prairie bonds

Posted 2/23/22

My wife Stephanie and I have lived in the Mid-Prairie school district for 25 years and raised – and are still raising- 5 children.  One of the reasons we chose to live here was the …

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Urges Yes vote on Mid-Prairie bonds


My wife Stephanie and I have lived in the Mid-Prairie school district for 25 years and raised – and are still raising- 5 children.  One of the reasons we chose to live here was the Mid-Prairie School District. We feel our kids have benefitted greatly from the excellent staff and caring community that supports our schools day in and day out.  We have volunteered at the classroom level as well as the district level and have always worked hard to be part of the “solution”.

Stephanie and I are in support of both bond measures being put forth on the March 1st ballot.

We also wanted to share a little background on past public support, and why we feel now is the time for the community to support the bond referendum which includes a new middle school gym and a 600-seat auditorium.

As we looked back at the past 25 years the M-P district has brought to the voters two general obligation bond proposals.  In 1996 a referendum passed by just two votes for issuing up to 5.4 million in bonds for additions and improvements.  The focus was on adding onto the high school to create new classroom space and a multi-purpose area “cafetorium” for daily use and to double as space for fine arts. 

2014 rolled around and a bond for 10.64 million was passed that addressed a broad list of needs at each learning center.  These projects included the new central office, addition to the middle school, new culinary lab, improvements to both elementary schools, and relocation of school offices for principal and support staff to the main entrances.  In 2014 we saw 25% of the elected voters (1,336) go to the poll with 74% casting a “yes” vote for the proposed projects.

I was fortunate enough to be on the 2014 facility needs planning committee that was made up of parents, grandparents, educators, business owners, civic members, and elected officials.  All in all, I’d estimate we had over 40 volunteers that were active on the committee. The goal as Superintendent Schneider has expounded on many times is to evaluate and make recommendations to the board for action.  There was plenty of public engagement, input, and discussion from a variety of diverse backgrounds. 

Over the past two facilities committees and 25+ years of facility upgrades and additions, there have been two projects that have been wanted but not put forth to the voters for consideration until now.  One is a new gym at the middle school and the other is a 600-seat auditorium.

The planning committee that began in 2018 and labored through a pandemic to reach the project list we are discussing today should be commended for their efforts and for putting two key projects outlined above on the ballot.  While we can debate the pros and cons of what is put forth on the ballot on March 1st, I know that it’s a community effort that got us to this point.  Thank you to those that served on the 2018 facility needs committee and thank you to the school board for moving these projects forwards to the voters!

As voters in the district, we have the ability to continue to improve, enhance and expand our facilities at the Mid-Prairie School District with a mix of well-thought-out public projects that will impact every student through their Mid-Prairie experience. 

Please vote yes on March 1st.  The Mid-Prairie students deserve to have the best we can give them.

“Nothing you do for your children is ever wasted” -Garrison Keillor

Ryan and Stephanie

Schlabaugh, Kalona