PPEL (pronounced “pepple”) stands for Physical Plant and Equipment Levy. It is one bucket of the district’s primary revenue sources for funding school facilities, equipment, repairs, technology, security, and improvements. It can be used to enhance school safety and security, construction or renovation of buildings, purchase of technology equipment and musical instruments, and energy conservation expenditures. This money cannot be used to pay for salaries or fund student programs.
Cedar Rapids Community School District’s PPEL has been supported by voters for 50 years. This critical revenue source has been instrumental in the maintenance and upkeep of our older buildings, 425 acres of grounds, and 2.7 million square feet of building space. We believe that well-maintained and improved facilities contribute to an effective learning environment for our students.
The district’s current voter-approved PPEL has been in place since 2014 at a $1.67/$1,000 assessed valuation and is set to expire in June 2025. So, voters are being asked to renew the existing funding source for another 10 years. This vote will take place in September 2024, and renewing the levy will NOT increase the property tax rate.
Since 2014, CRCSD was provided with approximately $113 million from its voter-approved PPEL, and spent over $105 million. The expenses for needed repairs, upkeep, and equipment purchases are not going away. With our older buildings, our needs will likely continue to increase. If PPEL is not renewed, these expenses would need to be shifted to other funds, impacting the overall programming of the district.
Over the past 10 years, here are just a few of the projects PPEL has provided funding for:
- Roofing and masonry maintenance and repair
- Repairs to campus parking lots and playgrounds
- Projects that provide safe and secure schools for students and staff
- Improved energy conservation efforts
- Purchase and upkeep of buses, vans, and other vehicles
- Purchase of Chromebooks for each student
PPEL Promise Delivered – Year 9 Project Highlights
This year’s projects included renovations that added ADA-compliant Restrooms at Jefferson High School and Truman Early Childhood Center, renovations to the locker rooms at Kennedy High School, and a roofing project that completed the last dome-shaped roof at Taft Middle School. Also completed was a new concrete parking lot at Washington High School, a life safety update to the fire alarm system at Truman Early Childhood Center, in addition to several other general maintenance projects at various locations.