Monroe County voters will be asked to consider a bond referendum for Indian Hills Community College on Nov. 2.

All voters in the college’s 10-county region will be asked to consider approving a $28 million bond referendum that would pay for major improvements and new construction at the college’s main campus in Ottumwa, as well as its’ North Campus in Ottumwa and its’ Centerville campus.

The college last tried to pass a referendum in 2016, which failed. The bond must gain 60 percent support to pass.

Indian Hills staff has worked hard since the failed 2016 vote to lower the costs of their projects, as well as educate voters on what voting “Yes” would cost them,

How much will taxes increase?

The increase to property tax payers over the 20-year bond would vary depending on the type of property as well as its’ assessed value. The following are examples of how much property taxes would increase per year if the bond passes. The tax increase per year is listed in parenthesis after the each assessed value example.

Residential

Assessed value $10,000 ($1.15)

Assessed value $35,000 ($4.03)

Assessed value $50,000 ($5.76)

Assessed value $75,000 ($8.64)

Assessed value $100,000 ($11.52)

Assessed value $150,000 ($17.28)

Assessed value $200,000 ($23.04)

Commercial/Industrial

Assessed value $25,000 ($4.71)

Assessed value $75,000 ($14.12)

Assessed value $150,000 ($28.24)

Assessed value $250,000 ($47.07)

Assessed value $500,000 ($94.14)

Assessed value $1,000,000 ($188.27)

Agricultural

The average tax increase on agricultural land in the 10-county area would be $0.15 per acre.

What will IHCC use the bond for?

Indian Hills Community College wants to use the $28 million bond in four major areas.

CENTRERVILLE CAMPUS

The biggest change would be at the Centerville campus, which would be almost totally transformed.

Currently the Centerville campus uses temporary buildings for all of its’ classrooms. The buildings were first put up in the 1970s and were to be used for 10 years. Fifty years later, they are still being used.

The newly proposed 58,500 square foot educational building in Centerville would be completed in two phases.

The new building would expand lab spaces for the Industrial Maintenance Training Center, Construction Technology and Agricultural Sciences. New lab space would be created for Welding Technology and Career and Technical Education Simulation. Classrooms and lab spaces would be updated for Nursing, Science and General Education and new space would be created for food service, the library and academic support services.

OTTUMWA MAIN CAMPUS

The main Ottumwa campus would see major updates in two areas.

The Center for Fine Arts would see the renovation of 9,638 square feet and the addition of 4,225 square feet. The choir and band classroom as well as the acting and film classroom, the piano lab and the lesson classroom would all be updated and soundproofed.

The public restrooms would be updated and expanded and individual and small group practice rooms would be created, as well as dressing rooms and restrooms and showers for performers.

A 17,380 square foot Student Wellness Center would also be created through the expansion of the Tom Arnold Net Center.

This would include classroom and lab space for the Sports Medicine Program, a multi-purpose court for student activities and events, a weight and cardio area, a fitness classroom, new public restrooms and locker rooms and the addition of an elevator to improve building accessibility.

OTTUMWA NORTH CAMPUS

A new Criminal Justice Training Center will be created on the Ottumwa North Campus, bringing together the college’s various law enforcement trainings in one area.

More than 10,600 square feet of existing space on the Ottumwa North Campus will be renovated to house the Criminal Justice Training Center. Newly created areas will include a multi-purpose training room, evidence lab, virtual reality training simulator, four classrooms and locker rooms.

VIRTUAL CLASSROOMS

Indian Hills Community College will also be reaching out to every high school in its’ 10-county region about creating or expanding virtual classrooms on their campuses and expanding concurrent enrollment course offerings.

High school students concurrently enrolled in Indian Hills classes are able to take them free of charge, saving students and their families thousands of dollars each year.

Money from the bond would be spent to decrease connectivity issues students may encounter, increase continuing education offerings throughout the region and provide technology and equipment to meet industry and educational needs in each district.

Indian Hills has seen an overall increase in enrollment this year and has recently brought a men’s and women’s wrestling program to the Centerville campus as well. That growth in enrollment at the Centerville campus led to the building of a new dorm in 2020 through a public-private partnership.

According to IHCC, 92 percent of their students are from Iowa, 80 percent come from the 10-county region and 86 percent of IHCC graduates remain in the 10-county region.