Dunkerton building new school - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Dunkerton building new school

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DUNKERTON (KWWL)-- The Dunkerton Community School District will soon have a brand new school.  Earlier this year, patrons of the district approved a small property tax increase so the district could move ahead with the project. 

The first phase of the project is underway now and will cost just more than $2 million.  And over the next few years, an entirely new school will emerge.  The district says the upgrades are needed to ensure a school stays in Dunkerton for years to come.

The current Dunkerton school building has served students for nearly 90 years.  Making all of the updates needed to serve students long into the future would be difficult.  So a new school will be taking shape.

"You always have to spend some money for anything new, and obviously construction is expensive.  But in the long term, to remodel a 1921 building would be very, very expensive.  So we're going to save money in the long run not having to update and upkeep the facility that we have that's so old and outdated," said Dunkerton High School principal Mike Cooper.

The first phase of construction is already underway and will include a new fitness center that will be accessible to the entire community, along with an industrial arts building that students will help construct.  When the two-story school is built, the top floor will be left unfinished to allow for hands-on construction classes.

"I think us students helping build more parts of it and helping with it will be great, with just more knowledge of the project itself," said Dunkerton student Logan Studer.

"I think it'll be great because it will give all of our programs that are suffering a little bit better facilities, like our shop programs because we lost our shop.  We had to move into another building.  With the new school, we will have better facilities for it.  So it'll just be an all around better learning experience for students," said Dunkerton student Daniel Rigdon.

When the entire project is completed in a few years, the district hopes the new facilities will help keep a school in Dunkerton.

"A lot of small schools are kind of in jeopardy right now.  And we feel with a new building, if a community chooses to no longer continue education in their building, obviously we would be a site where they probably would consider us," Cooper said.

But for now, the new school will help provide the best resources possible for educating students.

Construction is currently moving ahead on schedule. The industrial technology center and fitness facility should be ready by next school year.  And a bus barn will be built over the summer. 

Dunkerton Community Schools will hold a ground-breaking for the new school December 9th at 1 p.m.

KWWL Reporter:  Kera Mashek

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