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Cedar Falls School District Moves Forward with Facilities Plan

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CEDAR FALLS, Iowa — The Cedar Falls Community School District wants to make changes to several facilities, including building a new high school to keep up with growing enrollment.

On Monday night, the school board voted to accept and move forward with “Option B” for the district’s ten-year facilities plan. It calls for several upgrades, including building a 1,400 student high school, a new elementary school, and additions to North Cedar and Orchard Hill.

Now that board members have decided on an official course of action, they have a lot of work to do. Design teams will get to work and the district will make plans for a bond referendum.

The district has worked on this ten-year plan for 16 months, holding ten public meetings with the community.

School leaders said this facilities plan is a necessary step with 900 additional students expected over the next ten years.

The plan to expand, of course, will cost money. District leaders said they’ll need to collect signatures and get the issue on the ballot in September.

“It would be a General obligation bond. Cedar Falls has not gone to the public since 1976 for a general obligation bond and so, almost 40 years ago,” said Cedar Falls Superintendent Andy Pattee.

The district estimates for a $100,000 dollar home, the tax increase would add up to about $220 a year, if the referendum passes.

Board members also agreed to consider looking into fundraising for some of the facilities options that were not in the plan they selected.

School leaders will start working on the ballot language right away with a hope to start construction by 2015.

Board members said they were glad to finally have a plan.

Looking back, it all started with a question of whether to build a new high school and that question grew to include a plan for the entire district.

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