Education

Growing Clear Creek Amana district hunts for new high school site

District expects enrollment to swell by 1,000 over next five years

Clear Creek-Amana High School in Tiffin, Iowa, Tuesday, Feb. 26, 2019. (Jim Slosiarek/The Gazette)
Clear Creek-Amana High School in Tiffin, Iowa, Tuesday, Feb. 26, 2019. (Jim Slosiarek/The Gazette)
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Construction of a new elementary school is on schedule, the search for a new high school site has started and district offices are relocating in the fast-growing Clear Creek Amana Community School District.

The swelling school district, which serves 2,760 students in five schools, expects its enrollment to grow by 1,000 over the next five years.

“The big project right now” is Oak Hill Elementary, Superintendent Tim Kuehl said. The school, under construction on land bordered by Interstate 380 in Tiffin, is on schedule to open in August. Workers are finishing flooring, installing cabinets and painting the interior of the school, which will house fourth and fifth grades.

Funding for the $18 million school came from a $36 million bond approved by voters in September 2017.

The bond also will fund an addition to the district’s high school, bringing the school’s capacity to 1,200 by 2022.

Ultimately, Kuehl said the district intends to open a new, larger high school in 2027.

Parents and staff want “to remain a one high school district, as long as possible anyway,” Kuehl said. “The new high school would open with a capacity of 1,800, and we would want to expand up to 2,400.”

When the new high school opens, the current school at 551 West Marengo Road in Tiffin would become a middle school.

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The district updated the Tiffin City Council on its search for a high school site earlier this month. In an interview, Kuehl declined to identify the sites under consideration.

“There are still a lot of options on the table,” he said. “We’d like to have that ironed out and know sites and those things, hopefully, within the (calendar) year.”

In the meantime, Clear Creek Amana plans to relocate its district offices because its administrative staff also have grown beyond capacity.

Eight administrative staffers working in a small office building on the south end of Oxford will soon move to the Don Hummer Trucking offices, 1486 U.S. Highway 6 in Oxford, when Hummer staff relocate locally.

The move will more than double the school district’s office space, Kuehl said, allowing personnel such as the curriculum and instruction director and the health director to have space at the district offices. Many personnel have been stationed “throughout the nooks and crannies” of district buildings, he said.

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

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