Don’t be fooled.
Purported cost savings under the Cedar Rapids School District’s plan to demolish elementary schools to build 10 new “mega-schools” will never materialize.
Already, costs for the first two schools alone have increased by $5 million each from initial estimates.
Public Measure E, on the Nov. 5 ballot, would give the district free rein to use 1 percent sales tax funds. Property tax relief is listed among the purposes, but odds of tax relief are unlikely.
Voting “no” on the measure would return the voice to taxpayers.
The entire School Board turned a deaf ear to parents and others who voiced concerns about the facilities plan, conducted no studies on repercussions to neighborhoods or students who will need to be bused, and offered no options other than closures, demolitions and new, larger schools.
For a true alternative, look to Iowa City, where the century-old Horace Mann Elementary was recently upgraded to become ADA compliant, space was added and the building was made energy efficient at a fraction of the cost of new construction.
These older buildings were made to last, while modern construction has a limited life span and will need to be replaced sooner than well-constructed schools.
It’s not too late to re-examine this sweeping plan.
Janelle Lund and Dexter Merschbrock are running for Cedar Rapids School Board.
They have thoroughly examined the details, favor transparency in decision-making and will listen to concerns of parents, teachers, staff, students, neighbors and taxpayers.
Both deserve your vote Nov. 5.