116 3rd St SE
Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52401
IOWA CITY — New elementary schools, additions to existing elementary schools and continued renovations at Iowa City High School are just a few of a long list of projects the Iowa City Community School District hopes to complete if residents vote “yes” to renewing two tax levies next month.
Renewing the levies would create funding for the district’s “facilities master plan 2.0,” which includes dozens of projects such as additions to schools, technology upgrades and even long-term goals of purchasing grounds.
The Iowa Secure and Advanced Vision for Education Levy would be extended to 2051 and the Physical Plant and Equipment Levy would be extended to 2035 if residents vote “yes” on Nov. 2. The funds would not increase taxes for residents.
Both levies are capital project funds for the purchase and improvement of grounds, construction and remodeling of buildings, major equipment projects like technology.
The Physical Plant and Equipment Levy — or PPEL — also can be used for the rental of land and equipment and is funded by property taxes levied and collected by the school district.
Secure an Advanced Vision for Education — or SAVE — also can be used for community education programs and is funded by a statewide sales tax allocated by the state of Iowa to school districts based on certified enrollment.
Superintendent Matt Degner said while the funding will help the district plan for the future, it also will help the district sustain the buildings it has now, keep the lights on and keep school vehicles running.
The Iowa City school board approved a 10-year facilities master plan 1.0 in December 2013, to address rapid growth in the district, make learning spaces more equitable and improve older buildings.
Voters approved a $192 million general obligation bond to fund the second half of a 10-year facilities master plan in 2017.
Projects completed during the facilities master plan 1.0 include a new 500-student Alexander Elementary School; additions to Iowa City High School and Van Allen, Twain, and Penn elementary schools; and building repairs to several others.
“This is an amazing accomplishment and no small feat,” Degner said. “No students missed a day of learning because of construction projects.”
Not all projects promised in the facilities master plan 1.0 were completed, however. The first priority for the facilities master plan 2.0 will be completing those unfinished projects. This includes a new elementary school in North Liberty; building a Hills Elementary School and demolishing the current building; classroom additions to Hoover, Horn, Lemme, Lincoln, Longfellow and Lucas elementary schools; and new soccer and baseball fields and tennis courts at Iowa City High School.
Other projects the district is prioritizing are technology upgrades, security improvements and HVAC replacements.
The district also has a list of long-term projects, including purchasing property, building new elementary and middle schools and expanding high schools.
These will require “significant community engagement,” Degner said.
The district will hold its second community information session on the extension of the levies from 5 to 6 p.m. Oct. 20 via Zoom. For more information, visit iowacityschools.org.
Comments: (319) 398-8411; firstname.lastname@example.org