The Gazette  

As the Cedar River is expected to reach a crest of 18.6 feet Monday into Tuesday, the National Weather Service will be updating the forecast and current readings every hour. You can monitor these levels with this map.

K-12 Education

After $26 million upgrade, Linn-Mar ready to show off high school

Open house takes place from 1 to 4 p.m. Sunday in Marion

Students eat lunch and spend time in the new South Commons at Linn-Mar High School in Marion, Iowa, home Wednesday, Jan. 18, 2017. The multi use area cash also be used as a performance space with audience seating. (Jim Slosiarek/The Gazette)
Students eat lunch and spend time in the new South Commons at Linn-Mar High School in Marion, Iowa, home Wednesday, Jan. 18, 2017. The multi use area cash also be used as a performance space with audience seating. (Jim Slosiarek/The Gazette)
/

MARION — The windows of Linn-Mar High’s science classrooms used to look out at empty asphalt on the south side of the school.

Now, they peer over a new indoor commons area furnished with plush seating, a storefront stocked with school paraphernalia and a fully-outfitted college and career readiness center.

About $26 million worth of additions and renovations have been made to the high school since 2015 and district officials are ready to show the place off.

A public open house takes place from 1 to 4 p.m. Sunday at the school, 3111 10th St., Marion. Those who attend are invited to take self-guided tours.

Funding for the more than two dozen projects completed came from the district’s Physical Plant and Equipment Levy — which draws from the district’s property taxes — and the statewide penny sales tax — or SAVE.

That money allowed for the construction of a new wrestling room, weight room, fitness center and orchestra room, as well as 15 new classrooms, according to officials from the Linn-Mar Community School District.

Many of the school’s new spaces and furnishings are meant to facilitate collaboration, Principal Jeff Gustason said.

ARTICLE CONTINUES BELOW ADVERTISEMENT

“Think of a university library setting, really that’s what they were designed for,” he said. “What does a 21st century classroom look like? Letting students do what they need to do.

“We don’t know what students will need to do in 10 years, but hopefully we’ll have some flexibility.”

In another new common area on the north side of the school, 17-year-old student Jon Wisner said the new spaces allow him and his friends to relax and catch up on schoolwork during downtime.

“Before, you had to be in the library or you had to go home,” he said as he read a book on a red couch against wall-to-wall windows.

In addition to the new spaces, 18 classrooms were renovated using the funds, according to the district officials, and electrical and flooring upgrades were made throughout the school.

Improvements have also touched the school’s art and vocational programs.

For arts teacher Angie White, classroom renovations and reorganizations have eased her work teaching ceramics. With her kiln now close by, she said she no longer has to wheel fragile, unfired pottery pieces down the hall to a kiln room.

The Linn-Mar district, which has about 7,200 students, has completed several construction projects in the last decade.

Voters approved a $27.5 million bond in 2006 that paid for the construction of Echo Hill and Linn Grove elementary schools and the conversion of Oak Ridge to a middle school.

The 2006 bond funded renovations and updates to Linn-Mar High as well.

ARTICLE CONTINUES BELOW ADVERTISEMENT

Thank you for signing up for our e-newsletter!

You should start receiving the e-newsletters within a couple days.

“I don’t think there’s a square inch of the building that hasn’t been touched,” Gustason said of his 19 years at the school.

The school also hosts a ribbon-cutting ceremony at 7:45 a.m. on Jan. 30.

If you go

What: Public Open House

When: 1 to 4 p.m. Sunday

Where: Linn-Mar High School, 3111 10th St., Marion

Details: Take a self-guided tour to see the results of a $26 million renovation and additions to the school. Those attending should use Door 3 (north) or Door 13 (south).

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

Give us feedback

We value your trust and work hard to provide fair, accurate coverage. If you have found an error or omission in our reporting, tell us here.

Or if you have a story idea we should look into? Tell us here.

Give us feedback

We value your trust and work hard to provide fair, accurate coverage. If you have found an error or omission in our reporting, tell us here.

Or if you have a story idea we should look into? Tell us here.