Iowa City School District starts plans after historic bond vote - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Iowa City School District starts plans after historic bond vote passes

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The largest school bond vote in state history passed Tuesday night for the Iowa City School District at $191.5 million.

The massive bond plan was to finish the districts 10-year facilities master plan. That plan will improve existing facilities while building new ones.

They're wasting no time in putting the bond into action. Prior to the passing of the bond Tuesday night, the school board approved plans for Mann Elementary, which will be the first school to begin work under the bond. 

Outside Mann Elementary, on Wednesday, a sign thanking Mann supporters for passing the bond.

Iowa City School District Superintendent Stephen Murley said through the 10-year plan, 14 projects have been finished with 20 still to go. He said they hope to finish them within the original goal within the ten years.

He said Mann will start construction immediately after the school year. Students will attend school at the New Hoover School next year during the reconstruction period.

"There's a clear commitment to the future that has been demonstrated by the community," Murley said.

Murley said with this they'll be able to address the biggest concerns within the community and the district, starting with air-conditioning. That puts Mann on top of the list with Lincoln Elementary up next. Murley cited that currently those two schools could face having to be let out early this week because of high temperatures. 

Of the many other concerns, ADA accessibility also ranks high.

"We've got several school that have not had any remodeling done and consequently have not been brought up to code this is our opportunity to make sure that they're fully accessible to all students," Murley said.

Mann is a three-story building with no elevators, there's no way of getting around the stairs.

The bond will also be used to combat the growing school district which Murley said is growing at about 300 students a year.

"We're building an elementary school every other year so we're  really struggling  to keep up with the growth. This is an opportunity to build the new schools that we need to accommodate the growth, also expand existing facilities so that they can accommodate additional students," he said.

Murley said if all goes to plan, they hope to do away with temporary classrooms, portables, by the end. Currently. there are portable classrooms at Lincoln.

Bond opponents were concerned that the ballot language was too vague and it wouldn't hold the district accountable with upholding its promises.

Superintendent Murley said it's important that they stay on track with the timetables laid out for each school.

Details about each school's plan can be found here.

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