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TIFFIN, Iowa - People in the Clear Creek-Amana School District will vote in February on a bond issue for a fourth elementary school. This comes in response to population growth throughout Johnson County.
If the $48 million bond issue passes, Clear Creek-Amana would add an elementary school somewhere near Tiffin and North Liberty, make additions to the middle school and high school buildings in Tiffin, and add air conditioning to the middle school and Amana Elementary.
Tim Kuehl is in his first year as Clear Creek Amana's Superintendent and trying to corral a district that is shifting constantly.
"Traditionally, a very rural district here at Clear Creek Amana and we are seeing a lot of suburban-type growth in the Tiffin, North Liberty and Coralville area that is bringing new students to our district," said Kuehl.
For all of the well documented growth of population of North Liberty, it's easy to think it's just the Iowa City School District that is affected. North Liberty has 5 elementary schools - one private school, 3 with Iowa City and North Bend Elementary. That's where the Clear Creek-Amana school district is. North Bend opened only five years ago and had 163 students. The principal said they now have 473 students, showing the level of growth within the district.
Inside the hallways of North Bend, the small feet of young children are everywhere.
"It's a good school and we want our kids to continue to grow as they are and have the room to do so," said North Bend parent Sarah Mitchell.
The growth is already visible along Highway 6 from Tiffin and the high school and middle school to points east.
If the February bond issue passes, that fourth elementary school would be close by.
"Generally, somewhere in this Tiffin, North Liberty, Coralville, 380/80 interchange area. This is where we are seeing the primary growth," said Kuehl.
Clear Creek-Amana is the fourth-fastest growing school district in Iowa, in terms of percentage.
The neighboring Iowa City School District is also in the middle of a debate on how to handle rapid population growth as it covers the rest of North Liberty.