Dunkerton bond issue passes, $6 million in renovations to begin - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Dunkerton bond issue passes, $6 million in renovations to begin

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KWWL -

Dunkerton Community School is slating plans for building a new elementary school after a multi-million dollar bond vote passed Tuesday night. 

The $6 million bond, which passed Tuesday with 267 votes (83%) is set to pay for new classrooms. 

After standing the test of time for more than 90 years, a Dunkerton school building is falling apart. Dunkerton Superintendent Jim Stanton says the district  has been looking at this renovation for the past couple of years. 

"It just shows that the people of Dunkerton are ready to move forward," said Stanton. 

In 2008, a tornado hit Dunkerton, but it wasn't until a few months later when mother nature did the real damage. 

"We had a 100 mph straight line winds that actually physically lifted the roof off of that building," said Stanton. "Knocked all the supports down inside of it. And that's where we received our structural damage."

The damage left cracks in classrooms and the ceiling. 

"Since then, every time we get a hard rain-either the water will find its way out and make its own hole and we have to clean up after it," said Stanton. "Or we have bulges in the walls, we drill holes in the walls, and that's how we get the water in the walls."

Almost every classroom has extensive water damage-making it an unfit facility for students. Currently the building has three stories. However, both the second and third floor have mainly functioned as a storage unit because of the withering conditions. 

For the past eight years, no classes have been held on the second and third floors. The first floor rarely has classes. Stanton said the district was given a time frame, that had 2019 as the last year the building would be safe to occupy. 

"We knew in 2019 this building has to come down," said Stanton. "One way or another it had to come down, we're just glad voters said yes let's build another building in it's place."

Stanton say they did looked at fixing the existing structure, but the cost to continue to repair the building far outweighed the price to tear down and rebuild.

"More than anything else just making sure that our students have a safe place to go everyday," said Stanton. 

The district plans to start construction in June. Plans involve tearing down the existing building, and building an entirely new elementary school.

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