Total cost of proposed school project – $35 million

After the news last week of commitments totaling $9.5 million for the proposed Greene County High School and Iowa Central Community College regional career academy, the committee promoting the April 3 bond referendum announced that the total cost of the project is $35 million.

Jefferson residents Dick and Delores Finch started the week off right with their pledge of $100,000 for the regional career academy.

In a Feb. 22 press release, Grow Greene County, which distributes the charitable portion of the gaming proceeds from Wild Rose Casino, pledged $4.5 million for the construction of a competition gym and performing arts center at the new high school.

Also on Feb. 22, the county supervisors approved using $5 million in tax increment financing revenues for construction of the career academy.

Those pledges are all dependent on voters approving a general obligation bond for $21.48 million. The debt levy will increase $2.70 (per thousand dollars of taxable valuation) to pay the bond. At least 60 percent of those who vote in the election must approve the bond for it to pass.

The school district plans to borrow the final $4.5 million needed against future revenue from the physical plant and equipment levy (PPEL) and the Secure and Advanced Vision for Education (SAVE) one-cent sales tax already approved by Greene County voters.
“If additional funds are secured, the district will be able to expand the scope of work,” stated a Q & A prepared by the Our Kids, Our Future – Greene County committee, which is promoting the bond issue.

Those expansions have not been named.

The new high school would be constructed on land immediately west of AAI/Spalding on Highway 30. The primary access would be from Grimmell Road. Classrooms would be 900 square-feet to provide space for flexible learning. The competition gym would allow the school to host district competitions, and a 700-seet performing arts center would provide more space for state music events and community performances. (The auditorium at the current high school seats 400.)

Adjacent to the high school would be a career academy in a building owned by Greene County and leased to Iowa Central. Iowa Central will furnish and staff the academy. About 60 students will attend from Greene County and nearby school districts. Possible strands of training include precision agriculture, computer software, advanced manufacturing and culinary arts. The academy will also be used for continuing education and adult training.

The current high school would be updated for use as a 5-8 building. The entrance would be secured and the gym would be updated for school and community use. The classrooms are 200 square-feet larger than the classrooms at the current middle school, giving more space for collaborative learning. Moving out of the 1921 building would provide better flow of students than is now possible.

The district administrative offices would move to the current high school.
If voters approve the referendum by the 60 percent majority needed, design of the new buildings and renovations at the high school would begin immediately. The goal would be to have the new buildings ready for students in 2020.

More information is available at the  Our Kids, Our Future – Greene County website and on Facebook.

Print or share article:Print this page
Email this to someone
Tweet about this on Twitter
Share on Facebook