What Are the Next Steps for Clarke After the Bond Vote?

On April 3rd, the citizens of Clarke County were encouraged to get out the vote for two options concerning Clarke Community Schools. The PPEL levy vote, which needs renewal every 10 years was approved again this year. PPEL funds are focused on the school district’s transportation-related equipment, repairs and maintenance. The other vote, a bond to help the district make much needed updates and improvements throughout the Elementary School, Middle and High School buildings also passed with over 60% of the vote.

With the $13 million bond approved, the district now has the duty to allocate the money to their priority list outlined by superintendent Steve Seid and the school board. In the upcoming months, the board will be attending workshops and research and discovery sessions with CMBA Architects to focus on the updates slated for the bond budget.

“Now that we know we have the funding to make the updates, the work really begins,” Seid said Friday after the vote. “All of the projects on our list are significant priorities. We’re really going to have to work closely with the contractors to manage efficiency and quality.”

The list for improvements under the bond include:

  • Increased instructional space to address classroom and general building overcrowding
  • The creation of fully accessible (Americans with Disabilities Act {ADA} compliant) facilities – updating existing areas as well as adding the necessary elements for compliance
  • The creation of separate and secure entrances for the Middle and High Schools
  • The relocation of 6th grade classes to meet and maximize their current curriculum model
  • The relief of overcrowding at the Elementary school building
  • Updates to parking and street access around the Middle and High schools to improve traffic / bus congestion, and safety
  • The addition of a new bus barn to address leasing costs and convenience of the current facilities

At Monday’s April 9th School Board Meeting, members voted on the funding allocation for the road work from North Main and West Shaw to the Middle School and High Schools as well as the turf replacement on the football field. These projects, funded outside the bond budget, were committed to by the school board prior to the vote and were intended to foster even better access and safety for the students and district on top of the items outlined above.

Steve Seid went on to say, “When I first came to Clarke, my utmost mission was to make our district a ‘Model’ district for rural schools across the Midwest. With the improvements we’ve made to both staff and curriculum, and now the structural and security updates we’re about to embark on, I think we’re well on our way to achieving that mission.”

If you have additional questions or need more information concerning the updates planned for the district under the approved PPEL levy and bond, please contact Steve Seid, Clarke Community Schools Superintendent at the Clarke Community School District Administrative offices, 800 N Jackson Street, Osceola, Iowa 50213, phone: 641-342-6505 or email [email protected]

 

This article was first published on http://clarkecountylife.com.