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Alpine School District to survey voters on possible $595 million bond request

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The Alpine School District Board of Education (ASD) will survey voters next week on the possibility of a $595 million bond on the November ballot. If the bond is added to the ballot and voters approved it, the duration will be 20 years. 

Northern Utah County voters last approved a bond in 2016 to fund the construction of Eagle Mountain’s Cedar Valley High School, Lehi’s Viewpoint Middle School, multiple elementary schools throughout the district and land purchases for future school sites. 

Bond funds may only be used for capital projects and land acquisition. Funds may not be used for teacher or administration pay. 

The board was in the process of placing a bond on the 2020 ballot before the coronavirus pandemic stalled the plan. Board members feared voters wouldn’t pass the bond during economic uncertainty. 

During Tuesday night’s meeting, the board heard a presentation from Y2 Analytics. The presentation was an overview of a focus group study about the bond. Now a survey will be sent to 30,000 voters to determine attitudes about a bond. 

The focus groups included voters from three geographical areas in ASD including an Orem, Lindon and Vineyard group, an American Fork and Pleasant Grove group and a Lehi, Saratoga Springs and Eagle Mountain group. Each group included 4-6 voters. 

“We intentionally tried to find voters who were on the fence about a potential bond and malleable on the issue. We didn’t want to hear from our cheerleaders or our strong antagonists. We wanted to make sure we could have a productive conversation and not get things derailed,” said Kyrene Gibbs, a Y2 Analytics representative. 

“The sense we received was that the overall bond amount the district is considering didn’t create a lot of sticker shock because of how expensive the cost of living is in general right now,” said Gibbs, suggesting the focus groups were overall positive about the bond amount and showed support for passing a bond. 

After presenting results from the focus group, Gibbs reviewed the upcoming survey which will be sent out to approximately 30,000 ASD voters, with a target response of between 1,300 and 1,400 completed surveys. 

The survey will take about 15 minutes and will include questions on official ballot language, talking points to see what shapes and persuades voter opinions, satisfaction with the current direction of the district and their spending, and will conclude with demographic questions. 

Voters will begin receiving the survey as soon as Saturday and Y2 Analytics will continue receiving data over the following ten days. The district is anticipating preliminary results by the end of May and official results will be presented at the June board meeting. 

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