Education

In two booming Iowa communities, new buildings open for first day of school

Oak Hill Elementary in Tiffin and Christine Grant Elementary in North Liberty both backed by property-tax bonds

Students and parents on Wednesday check out Christine Grant Elementary School during its grand opening in North Liberty. The school held its first classes Friday. (Jim Slosiarek/The Gazette)
Students and parents on Wednesday check out Christine Grant Elementary School during its grand opening in North Liberty. The school held its first classes Friday. (Jim Slosiarek/The Gazette)
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New elementary schools are opening this month in two of the fastest-growing cities in Iowa — Tiffin and North Liberty.

Christine Grant Elementary in North Liberty, part of the Iowa City Community School District, opened Friday to grades kindergarten through six.

In Tiffin, the Clear Creek Amana Community School District’s Oak Hill Elementary will welcome fourth- and fifth-graders on Monday.

Construction of both buildings was funded by property-tax backed bonds approved in 2017 by voters in each district.

Enrollment in both the Clear Creek Amana and the Iowa City school districts has skyrocketed in recent years.

Clear Creek Amana Community School District, which covers booming areas like Tiffin and parts of Coralville, has grown by nearly 1,000 students in the last decade, state data show.

Expected to cost a total of about $19 million, Oak Hill Elementary is expected to relieve crowding at other metro area schools, Tiffin and North Bend elementary schools.

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The Iowa City district, the fifth-biggest in the state, has grown by 2,700 students in 10 years, according to state data.

Construction of Grant Elementary, with a final cost of $18.5 million, was part of a massive building frenzy over the summer in the district.

The school is named after the first women’s athletic director at the University of Iowa. Grant held that position from 1973 until retiring in 2000.

Another nearby growing school district, Linn-Mar, is on its way to opening new elementary schools. A bond for new buildings failed in the Linn County school district in 2017, but succeeded in 2018.

Funds from the bond are being used to build two schools for the fifth and sixth grades, Boulder Peak and Hazel Point Intermediate. They are scheduled to open in August 2020.

l Comments: (319) 398-8330; molly.duffy@thegazette.com

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