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ICCSD facilities committee meets for goal-setting

By B. Adam Burke
North Liberty Leader
IOWA CITY– Roosevelt Elementary, the school that will close at the end of the year, was one subject of board member Jeff McGinness’ list of goals for a facilities committee meeting. His other concern was a new high school for the district to ease an overcrowded West High.
The board discussed forgoing the sale of the school property through a realtor and instead putting the Roosevelt property through a competitive bid process.
By writing a bid contract, the board and district can put restrictions on its sale such as a reserve price, a stipulation to forbid building a bar or gas station, or an agreement for some green space or a city park.
The other option is to sell it and be done with it. Either way, the timeline depends somewhat on rezoning parts of the property to allow development. The entire property is about 10 acres between Benton St. and Greenwood Dr. in Iowa City.
Tuyet Dorau suggested the district use geographically-targeted regional enrollment data to specify where new schools or expansions should be targeted.
McGinness agreed and later noted that the new fourth high school committee was comprised of ICCSD staff only. “What about the community?” he asked.
Superintendent Steve Murley said the community would be involved and informed about any lack of programming at the new high school, currently conceived as housing just 800 to1,000 students, about half of West and City High capacities. Extra-curricular activities and some classes could be limited by the smaller size of the new secondary school.
During the school board’s Dec. 20 regular meeting, the district presented its annual progress report with district demographics and proficiency rates and info about the schools’ budget and financing.
ICCSD Director of Administrative Services Paul Bobek gave the 2010-2011 comprehensive annual report and Kevin Smith, a director at accounting firm McGladrey-Pullen, reported on an independent audit of the basic financial statements and compliance of the district for the year ended June 30, 2011.
In a communications report at the Dec. 20 meeting, Kate Moreland, community relations coordinator, announced that all board meetings would eventually be posted on a video portal web page so people without cable can see board of education meetings and other school events. The district is also producing a video to be unveiled in 2012 and is changing its official website to www.iowacityschools.org.