Voters in several Iowa communities head to the polls today to decide on spending millions on school improvements.

The largest is a $62 million bond issue for a new high school and athletic complex in Sergeant Bluff-Luton. Bettendorf voters will decide on a $30 million bond to renovate classrooms, add security and expand athletic facilities.

Bettendorf finance director Dallon Christensen says bonding allows for more efficient construction timelines. Christensen says, “Now we have an opportunity with being able to bundle a number of projects together, be able to recognize some economies of scale in terms of purchasing and project management.” Bettendorf district officials estimate the bond would mean a tax increase of about $1.56 a month for a home assessed at $200,000.

In addition to the timeline, Christensen says bonding will allow for wiser spending. “You gain efficiency by being able to take advantage of volume discounts,” he says. “You can manage similar projects at the same time. So, you might be able to hire one construction manager or one general contractor and one architect.”

Harlan voters will decide on a $28.5 million bond issue for major school renovations. The Akron Westfield Community School District is offering a $6.9 million bond issue for a list of improvements, including new locker rooms, science classrooms and school entrances. Also, an $11.5 million bond issue is going to a vote for a series of improvements at Iowa Western Community College in Council Bluffs.

(Kate Payne at Iowa Public Radio contributed to this report.)