Iowa City School Board Expected to Hire Firm to Perform Enrollment Study

By Gregg Hennigan, Reporter

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By Liz Blood

IOWA CITY, Iowa - The Iowa City school district will vote Tuesday on an agreement with a company that would provide enrollment projections.

Superintendent Stephen Murley has said that information is important to have as officials create a long-term facilities plan. That plan will provide a blueprint for the construction of new schools and building additions – something that has been the source of discussion, and debate, in the community in recent months.

Being able to predict growth is an important part of the process. The district has seen booming enrollment in recent years and has added about 750 students in just the past two years.

If the school board approves the agreement, as is expected, DeJONG-RICHTER would perform the work. The projections would go out 10 years and include information for the district as a whole and grade by grade, Murley said. Also included would be socioeconomic data and models showing future development in the school district’s boundaries.

Murley said he believes the study would be finished in February.

The work would cost $37,280 plus up to 5,592 for reimbursable expenses for DeJONG-RICHTER personnel.

A University of Iowa professor and graduate student have done the district’s annual enrollment studies for at least the past several years. Murley said the professor is retiring and the student is moving on, and the UI did not bid on this year’s plan. Murley and some school board members had previously expressed a desire to have a different organization perform the work anyway.

Also Tuesday, the school board’s Facilities Committee will start discussions on creating a timeline showing when various school building projects could be undertaken in the coming years. That information is of interest to the public with the looming Feb. 5 special election to vote on a document that would allow the school district to borrow money that would help fund those projects.

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