Iowa City school board adopts facilities timeline

Adoption ends debate where to slot new high school, three new elementary schools and additions at existing facilities.

Gregg Hennigan
Published: December 11 2013 | 5:08 am - Updated: 29 March 2014 | 12:42 am in
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IOWA CITY The Iowa City Community School District now has a plan that will guide construction projects for the next decade.

The school board voted 6-1 early Wednesday morning to approve a timeline for projects in a $258 million facilities plan. Tuyet Dorau, who has opposed the plan's call for the closure of Hoover Elementary, cast the dissenting vote.

The board approved the actual facilities plan last summer and spent the past month debating where to slot projects that include a new high school, three new elementary schools and additions and renovations at existing facilities.

Some community members have expressed displeasure with aspects for the plan.

Hoover Elementary parents continue to protest the decision to close that school in 2019.

Some parents, particularly those from North Liberty and from Mann Elementary in Iowa City, have called for their schools to be moved up in the timeline.

School board members have said the facilities plan will need to be revisited annually as enrollment and other determining factors change. Projections released last month predict the district will have 3,500 more students 10 years from now than the 12,894 students in its schools now.

Also, the district will need a lot more money than it has. School officials say they expect to ask voters in 2017 to approve a bond issue of up to $120 million.

The board voted at 12:03a.m. Wednesday during a meeting that started at 6 p.m. the previous day.

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