Cedar Falls picks site for possible high school, announces bond - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Cedar Falls picks site for possible high school, announces bond

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CEDAR FALLS (KWWL) -

The Cedar Falls School District announced Friday it's picked a site to build a proposed new high school.

The school district wants to build a $90 million high school just west of the UNI-Dome along 27th Street. Currently, it's the site of UNI soccer fields.

If voters pass a bond referendum next month, the district would take possession of the land and start work on a new high school, which would replace the current high school on Division Street.

That bond amount would assume a maximum $4.05 levy on property. For a house valued at $150,000, homeowners would see a $330.48 per year increase. For a $250,000 house, it's a $550.80 increase.

District spokeswoman Janelle Darst said she hopes that levy won't hit the maximum for another 3 years, meaning it will be a gradual increase until then.

District officials say a new high school would solve a space crunch at the current high school, which was built in the 1950's.

"The location definitely allows us the proper acreage that's needed for this size of a high school so we felt the best of both worlds coming together with the size and ability to partner with UNI," said Darst.

When the district started considering a new high school, we showed you some of the space crunch -- from science labs to art rooms to the cafeteria.

Along with space limitations and technology issues, district officials say they're also concerned with safety. Currently, students, faculty and staff literally park in the middle of Division Street on school days.

District officials say they selected the site because that's the direction Cedar Falls is growing and because of who owns the land currently.

"Sometimes you have to consider those who'll sell you land or have the possible consideration for selling you land, and sometimes those things don't always work out in certain locations that we were looking at, so this became the best option for us," said Darst.

The deal depends on the school board and the Iowa Board of Regents approving the plan.

Of course, it also depends on voters passing the bond referendum Sept. 9.

If approved, it would cost the owner of a $100,000 house approximately $220 extra per year in property taxes.

The bond also includes money to build a new elementary school on Erik Rd. and renovations to Orchard Hill Elementary and North Cedar Elementary.

The district would convert the current high school into administrative offices and Educational Services and then could possibly rent out or demolish unused portions of the rest of the building.

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This story was corrected Aug. 13 to clarify the property tax amount.


Amie Steffeneicher contributed to this report.

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