For Immediate Release: The Norwalk Community School District is pleased to announce the passing of a $24 million (M) bond to build a new Norwalk Physical Education and Competition Center (NPECC). To obtain a passing vote, 60% “YES” of the total votes were required. Norwalk residents passed the bond vote at 77% with 1,416 “YES” to 421 “NO” total votes. Click here for official results.
The Norwalk CSD Board of Directors held a special election on Tuesday, March 3rd, requesting the voters approve issuance of a $24 million (M) general obligation bond to construct the NPECC which includes a new gymnasium with a walking track, training/weight room, wrestling room, locker rooms, concessions; and renovations to existing athletic program areas to become classrooms; and paving of the remaining gravel drive south of the middle school. This project has been identified on Norwalk CSD’s Long-Term Master Facilities Plan since 2004. With limited availability of capital project funding over the last 15+ years, the District has struggled to secure adequate funds for the construction of new classrooms, renovating existing classrooms with associated heating, cooling, plumbing, electrical and technology improvements. As the community continues to grow, so does district enrollment, requiring more classrooms, kitchen/cafeteria space, band and music space and parking lot/driveway expansions.
In 2017, the City of West Des Moines and Microsoft Data agreed to construct a third data storage center. They selected a construction site just west of I-35 that lies within the Norwalk Community School District boundaries. This facility will provide approximately $270 M of new taxable property valuation, incrementally over the next 10 years. This has provided the District with $24 M of bonding capacity. In addition to the Microsoft Data Center facility, the City of Norwalk has attracted new companies, such as Windsor Windows and Michael Foods, which have also helped make funding for the NPECC possible. Windsor Windows opened in 2018 and has since hired 78 employees. Michael Foods opened a 143,000 sq. foot building in October 2019 and since has hired 130 employees. According to the county assessor, the January 1, 2020 value is estimated at $23 M. Total value of both businesses is $36.8 M.
The Iowa legislature renewed Sales Tax for schools in the spring of 2019 for another 20 years (extending the current sales tax funding beyond 2029 to 2049). This will allow the District to utilize Sales Tax funding for the construction of new classrooms as enrollment continues to grow.
With the advent of the Micheal Foods, Windsor Windows, the Microsoft Data Center, and the extension of Sales Tax funding, the District has secured future funding to meet projected costs to construct a 4th elementary and additional classrooms at the MS & HS in 10 years. With these facility responsibilities covered, the Board was confident this is a time to focus available resources on the construction of the NPECC.
What components will be constructed with the new NPECC (gymnasium addition) costing $24 M?
- A new gymnasium with sufficient square footage to provide three court areas for multiple PE classes and athletic practices
- A new wrestling room that will provide space for three practice and competition event mats
- Locker rooms to accommodate PE and athletic uniform changing and other personal needs
- A full walking track at balcony level around the gymnasium perimeter
- A new training room fully equipped for student wellness, PE instruction as well as student athlete strength and agility training
- A new concession stand to accommodate the new competition gym
- Renovations of existing weight room into three regular classrooms for growing enrollment
- Construction of a new multipurpose room large enough to provide additional cafeteria space with a future intent to be renovated into addition classrooms as needed
- Installing a fire protection sprinkler system to the old gym and existing classrooms wings near the old gym
- Reconfiguring hallways near the old gym to comply with fire safety egress requirements
- New activities office, coaches meeting rooms, storage and public restrooms
- Paving of remaining gravel drive south of the Middle School
Construction for the new NPECC facility is scheduled to begin in March/April 2021 with projected completion in August 2022.
Thank you to the citizens of the Norwalk CSD for continuing to support the vast growth of our communities and school district, the City of Norwalk, the City of Cumming, and the City of West Des Moines for all your work in aiding consumer growth and the establishment of new businesses in the Norwalk CSD which helped make the new NPECC facility a possibility for our students, families, staff and residents!