College Community district asks voters to say yes to new element - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

College Community district asks voters to say yes to new elementary school

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CEDAR RAPIDS (KWWL) -

Tacora Steel knows all too well the frustration that came with the closing of Polk Elementary school within the Cedar Rapids Community School District.

"It kind of hit home.  I have two nephews attending Polk Elementary over there," Steel said.

Steel also understands the excitement of being a part of rapid growth.  She and her two kids live in the College Community District on the city's southern fringe.  It's the fourth fastest growing district in the state.

"To see the community continue to build and grow I think is a blessing," Steel said.

The district's enrollment has taken off, increasing by 55 percent between 2000 and 2010, and it's expected to soar even higher by 2020.

"Largely it's geography," said Richard Whitehead, superintendent of the College Community District.  "If you look at most metro areas, they grow on the outside ring. We happen to be on the outside ring of Cedar Rapids."

The increase in numbers has prompted a bond vote that would pay for $15 million of the $18 million price tag to build a fifth elementary school.

School officials say the school is necessary to support increasing class sizes.

"You're growing at that pace.  Every so often you have to build additional buildings if you want to provide quality facilities that our students need," Whitehead said.

Because the tax base continues to grow in the area, families will not see any increase in property taxes if the bond issue passes.

Cost aside, Steel says she will say yes on Tuesday's vote.  She says it's important to support her kids and the surrounding community.

"I believe education is a priority.  Anything that helps us support our children to be successful," she said.

If passed, the 81 thousand square foot elementary school is projected to be ready by the fall of 2014.

The vote to pass the bond issue will be Tuesday, April 3rd.

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