Waverly-Shell Rock school bond referendum - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Waverly-Shell Rock school bond referendum

WAVERLY (KWWL) - In Waverly, the floods of 2008 caused major damage to school buildings.

Waverly-Shell Rock Junior High saw damage.

Washington Irving Elementary remains closed with students learning at a strip mall.

But a bond referendum next month could make flood concerns at those schools go away.

Supporters of the nearly $19 million bond referendum say they're working hard to make sure people get out to vote April 7th.

They say a new school built for 5-8 grades would ease flood concerns and give the growing district more space.

Cars are parked around the block at Waverly-Shell Rock Junior High as people arrive to see a talent show.

That's because the school doesn't have a parking lot - there's no space for it.

It's just one small reason district officials want to build a new school across town.

The other reason stands a few blocks away.

Washington Irving Elementary stands empty after flood waters washed through the building in June.

Kelly Flege co-chairs a group pushing for bond approval.

"There's a need because of the damage incurred. There's a need because of space. The classrooms in the junior high have met their greatest use and the teaching curriculum and the way students learn has changed and the junior high is an aged building and it's reached its max," said Flege.

Yard signs have popped up around town.

A conceptual design of the new school is on display at the junior high.

District officials recently announced FEMA will help foot part of the bill.

"The bond referendum that we solicited is for a maximum of $18.9 million. Our most sincere hope is through FEMA funds we wouldn't bond for that full amount," said Flege.

"With the support that we now have from FEMA, it's really making this a project that's very timely and something we can do in a cost-effective manner," said Waverly-Shell Rock Jr. High Principal Steve Kwikkel.

With the vote coming April 7th, supporters hope for a big turnout at the ballot box.

"We want to make sure people don't feel complacent or feel this vote is definitely going to go one way or another and that might keep people away from the polls," said Flege.

So how much would it cost?

A property tax increase of about $1.51 per $1,000 assessed valuation.

Plans for a new school have been on the drawing board for more than a year.

That process was accelerated after the flood.

For more information on the bond referendum, click here.

Online Reporter:  Bob Waters

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