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ICCSD releases revised facilities timeline

BY REBECCA MORIN | NOVEMBER 08, 2013 5:00 AM

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The 59-year-old Hoover Elementary may retire sooner than expected.

After recent public reaction, Iowa City School District administrators released a revision of the 10-year facilities plan timeline on Thursday. The proposal will be discussed at the upcoming School Board meeting on Nov. 12.

Hoover — which was going to be used as a transition school through 2016-21 to house students during Twain and Penn Elementary renovations — will be used as a traditional school and would close in 2019 under the revised plan.

“All changes are based on feedback to the superintendent through individual conversations,” said David Dude, the School District’s chief operating officer.

At the Oct. 22 School Board meeting, officials presented a timetable of the possible opening of several new schools and retiring Hoover.

The district’s $258 million, 10-year Facilities Master Plan, which was approved in February, is slated for completion by late 2024. Every school in the district will be improved or reconstructed by the end of the 10-year period.

Another concern people brought up to administrators was the order in which the three new elementary schools would be constructed. In the revised plan, officials will build the south elementary first, followed by the east elementary and then the north elementary school. None of these schools have yet to be named.

Construction on the east elementary school had originally been scheduled to start in 2019, while construction on the north elementary school had been scheduled to start in 2016. Under the new plan, the east elementary school will be built first.

With the revised plan, there will be an increased cost of roughly $1 million, which is still within the $6.4 million transitioning budget, Dude said.

The proposed south elementary will be built on Sycamore Street — with construction expected to start in 2014. The Iowa City City Council will vote on Nov. 12 to schedule a Dec. 3 hearing to annex Sycamore Street for the School District’s use.

“Each annexation is for two separate elementary schools,” Jeff Davidson, the director of the city’s Planning & Community Development Department. “We’ve been in discussions for the better part of a year trying to finalize plans, and we’re hopeful the annexations results in elementary schools.”

The council will also vote to schedule a hearing to annex an American Legion Road site on the same day. The proposed east elementary will be built in the area, and officials would like to start construction in 2016, Dude said.

“We need to start work to get sewers and gas lines,” Dude said. “All that infrastructure needs to get completed; we’ve been in communication with the city, so I wouldn’t anticipate any problems.”

The two sites are located outside of Iowa City limits and are in Johnson County jurisdiction. However, with the City Council’s approval, the land can be occupied by the School District.

“Neither one of the sites are currently within Iowa City,” Davidson said. “If brought in, Iowa City can provide city sewer and city water, and creating a new elementary allows Iowa City to grow.”


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