Schools celebrate the end of construction before start of school - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Schools celebrate the end of construction before start of school year

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IOWA CITY (KWWL) -

The Iowa City School District is preparing for the new school year by celebrating completed construction projects at three of its schools.

On Monday, ribbon-cutting ceremonies were held at the new Hoover Elementary, Lucas Elementary, and Weber Elementary. 

After 14 months of construction, Lucas Elementary is ready to open its doors for the 2017-18 school year with a new look and fresh updates. Of the upgrades, a new secured entrance that makes it so people have to be buzzed in, renovated art room and main office, interior lighting, ceiling replacements, and new carpet and paint. 

The most exciting upgrade for students and staff is the new geothermal heat pump HVAC system, meaning the school will now fully be air-conditioned.

"To think that now we're not going to have the classrooms, like a year ago, where it appeared students were melting a bit and just being able to have that attention to their peers, their collaborative learning. I think our energy level is going to be much higher," Lucas Elementary Principal, Ken Turnis, said.

In all, the upgrades cost $4.5 million. 

Prior to at Lucas Elementary, another ribbon-cutting ceremony happened at the new Hoover Elementary. A $16 million dollar project, the new school has room for 500 students. 

At Weber Elementary, a $5 million construction project was also completed. There they added eight classrooms, a gym, and upgraded interior lighting.

All upgrades were part of the first half of the district's ten year facilities master plan. The district is currently looking to pass a $192 million school bond in order to complete the second portion of the ten year plan.

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