NAMPA — Voters in Ada and Canyon counties will vote on Nov. 6 on a $39 million levy for the College of Western Idaho.
The college’s board of trustees on Tuesday voted unanimously to put the levy on the ballot.
The 10-year levy would help pay for a new health science building on CWI’s main campus in Nampa. The property tax revenue generated from the levy, paired with $10 million from the state, would fund construction.
To pass, the levy needs 55 percent approval from voters in CWI’s taxing district, which includes both Ada and Canyon counties.
A $39 million, 10-year levy would increase property taxes for Ada and Canyon County residents by an estimated $8.42 per $100,000 of taxable property value per year, according to a Meridian Press report from April.
If the levy passes, the new four-story, 105,000-square-foot building is expected to open by the fall of 2022, CWI spokesman Ashley Smith said. The building would be on CWI’s main campus on North Idaho Center Boulevard in Nampa.
Stanley Bastian, board secretary and treasurer, said the college needs more space of its own and spends $2 million on rent, mostly in Boise.
“It’s very important, as we move forward, that we extend the number of buildings and square footage,” Bastian said.
An additional 2,500 students would have access to credit and short-term training in health and science programs through the new building, Smith said. People can find out more about the proposed building on CWI’s website.
Two years ago, voters rejected a $180 million bond, which would have helped build three new buildings for CWI. The bond needed at least a two-thirds majority to pass. Board chairman Mark Dunham said after the bond failed, CWI representatives had discussions with constituents, business people and elected officials to determine that a health science building was the biggest need in the Treasure Valley.
A press release Tuesday said the building would increase the capacity to address the skills gap in the Treasure Valley within the health care workforce.
The building also would act as a conduit for CWI’s partners such as St. Luke’s, Saint Al’s and Norco, and help to train staff.
“The Health Science Building would be an amazing addition and enhance CWI’s ability to train thousands of future health care workers in the Treasure Valley — as the population grows and ages,” Dunham said in the press release.
The college’s health science program, which employs over 20 staff members, prepares students to get a job in the health care field or continue their education at a four-year university, according to CWI’s website. Students can earn their associate degree in health science through CWI.