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IC board hears update on NL’s future schools

IOWA CITY– Duane Van Hemert, physical plant director for the Iowa City Community School District (ICCSD), updated the operations committee on progress of the facilities capital improvement plan at a June 23 meeting.
Included were reports on Van Allen Elementary, Penn Elementary and the proposed high school in North Liberty.
There have been challenges; however, improvements and construction are expected to proceed on schedule, Van Hemert indicated.
“Seven bids for the Van Allen Elementary School additions were received on May 22 and subsequently rejected by the school board, as all bids were over the allocated budget of $1,638,000,” Van Hemert wrote in a June 18 letter to the board. “District staff is working with the architectural to re-evaluate scope items and plan to re-bid the project in August.” The project is on target to begin in September and is expected to be completed for the 2015-2016 academic year.
Project work at Penn Elementary School has begun with removal of the playground equipment, which is in the path of the school’s planned 23,000 square-foot addition. This equipment will be relocated at a later date. Weekly job site co-ordination meetings are being held, according to Van Hemert, and contractors have progressed to the interior parts of the building with the advent of summer vacation for the school. The $9.3 million project, which will bring eight additional classrooms, a new gymnasium and media center, will be phased and should be complete in August 2015.
The design phase for the new north-side high school is well underway as well.
“The high school design team had a kick-off meeting on May 8, and subsequent follow-up program information meetings on May 15 and 21,” said Van Hemert. The architects have conducted interviews with district staff and have compiled their initial programming information. They are now moving into the schematic design phase of the project. Schematic designs are anticipated to be completed and available for viewing early next year with construction bids being solicited in January or February. The high school is being built in three phases. On March 25, the school board approved a budget of $48.16 million with a design budget of $2.43 million for phases one and two, with estimated completion in Fall 2019. The third phase is budgeted at $4.74 million to be completed in Fall 2022.
The current status of the ICCSD master facilities plan and project status updates can be found at this link: http://www.iowacityschools.org/files/_1SDWo_/95304d237fe82a763745a490138...