116 3rd St SE
Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52401
TIFFIN — Construction of an academic addition at Clear Creek Amana High School is the final piece of a bond project passed by voters in 2017 — and the district already is planning a new bond referendum for next year to meet the needs of a growing student body.
The next referendum is planned to go before the public for a vote March 2, 2022, to finance construction of a new elementary school by 2024.
Clear Creek Amana is one of the fastest growing school district in the state. Over 220 students were added at the start of the 2021-22 school year, and the district expects more students to enroll throughout the year. Currently, there are 2,750 K-12 students in the district.
While this year’s 12th grade class has 188 students, the kindergarten class has 254 students. In two years, the high school will “trade a class of 160 for a class of over 200,” high school Principal Mark Moody said.
“The rising tide lifts all boats,” interim Superintendent Joseph Brown said. “The elementary classes are bigger, and by the time they are at the high school the space will be needed.”
The academic addition to the high school will be completed during summer 2022 and will extend the school’s capacity from 900 to 1,200 students. It adds 10 classrooms, including ones for agriculture science and special education, and counseling offices.
The project is a part of a $36 million bond referendum passed Sept. 12, 2017, with 71 percent approval, or 1,234 votes.
Other projects completed as a part of that 2017 bond include projects at Oak Hill, North Bend and Amana elementary schools; a new gymnasium and community storm shelter at Clear Creek Elementary; and security upgrades at entrances to Clear Creek Elementary.
Clear Creek Amana High School was built in 2009, with plans for additions to be built as needed. This is the fourth addition to the building.
“We’re a year or two away from capacity if we didn’t have this addition coming,” Moody said. “We’ll have some empty classrooms for a few years, but they won’t be empty for long.”
This year, a project-based learning room with capacity for 60 students had to be turned in to classrooms to meet the needs of students.
Moody is especially looking forward to having a lab specifically for the agriculture science classes. It will have an industrial oven for a food safety course and other amenities specific to agriculture science.
The new counseling office are also vital. Right now, there are two school counselors at the high school, who have two offices and a small waiting area for students. The new space will have a third office available to grow counseling services and a bigger common space for students and families.
“It won’t be too long before we’ll have to hire an additional full-time school counselor,” Moody said. “There’s times of the year the school counselors are burning the candle at both ends.”
There is not yet an estimated cost for the March bond referendum, but Brown said the elementary school alone could be $35 million.
The school board is looking at purchasing land in a few locations including Coralville, North Liberty and Tiffin for the construction of a new elementary.
Other projects that could be included in the bond are a preschool center, vocational facility for high school students and a fine arts center.
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