Cedar Falls School Board to vote on new $70-million High School
Written by Shelley Russell, Multimedia Journalist - bio | email
Since the beginning of the year, a committee has been discussing options for renovating or rebuilding Cedar Falls High School.
The committee has decided money would best be spent on building a new $70-million school.
Currently, the school has approximately 1,100 students. However, it is designed to house approximately 600 students, said Director of Secondary Education Dan Conrad.
"The recommendations for schools our size are to have anywhere between 35 and 40 acres of land, and the building side right now is 17.5 acres," said Conrad.
Conrad is also a member of the facilities committee who is recommending a new school be built.
Conrad said the high school is "land locked" and explained that there is no room for expansion since the school is located in a residential area.
He said the committee has researched the costs of renovations versus a new school, and that both options would require a bond referendum or property tax increase for Cedar Falls residents.
He said renovations to the current school would come with a $53-million price tag to "renovate an old facility and have a lot of the same problems we've had."
"It's probably an investment. It's more likely worth it than not...because people need to be taught, they need to learn," said Erec Stark, a Cedar Falls High School sophomore who said the only things he doesn't like about his current high school are the stairs and crowded hallways.
According to Conrad, no plans have been designed for a new high school.
He said the committee's recommendation will be presented to the School Board on November 26th and that board members will spend the month of December discussing the issue before coming to a decision in January. If the School Board approves the proposal, Cedar Falls residents will vote on a bond referendum to help cover costs for the project.
"It's not a process that goes quickly," said Conrad. "I guess the best case scenario is the bond issue is brought forth to the public sometime early next year."
Conrad said if everything goes well, a new school could be completed in two or three years.
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