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Elementary Building Update

by T. Lloyd Little

During a special meeting held Thursday, September 27, 2012, the ROWVA Board of Education accepted bids for the new elementary school.  Bids came in at 9.5 Million Dollars on the 10 Million dollar budget.  Estes Construction from Davenport, Iowa, the Construction Manager for this project, had reviewed these bids with Farnsworth Group, the District’s architect, and recommended that the entire base project and all alternates be accepted.  In plain language, this means that a 50,000 sq. foot school will be built as well as the demolition of the old Junior High and an addition to the current Library Media Center will be built by completion of this project in the fall of 2013.

On October 15th, a beautiful fall morning, ground was broken by the Board and elementary students.  The Board and the students were excited to get this project underway.  Soon after the ground breaking, progress began on the construction site.  The softball dugouts and fence were removed and a construction fence was erected for the safety of the students and the community.  (This is an active construction site, and access is limited on a pre-approval basis.)  It is anticipated that next week the footings and foundation will be poured.  Soon after that process concludes the infrastructure for plumbing and electrical will be installed.  If weather cooperates and there are no delays in production of the pre-engineered building, it should be erected by the end of January.  The construction schedule is concise and very compact with little variance for weather delays.  It is anticipated that demolition of the old Junior High should be completed by mid-June and the project completed by mid-August with a start date for next year in early September.

Next Steps: Approval has been given by the State to issue bonds for replacement of the current facilities; the Board will issue Eight Million dollars of Construction Bonds.  The remaining Two Million dollars of the project will be paid for from District’s Cash Balances.  The repayment of the bonds should have minimal impact upon the current tax levy.  The one percent county sales tax will be used to abate part of the bond; the remaining debt will be abated by reducing the operation cost of the district and the increase through the local Equalized Assessed Valuation.  It is anticipated the savings generated by centralizing the point of education for the students would be approximately $100,000 annually.

Since this project is a separate facility, there should be minimal disruption of the education process.  As I stated above, it is anticipated that the new building will be available for occupancy in the fall of 2013.

Click on the picture to the right of this article to view a slide show of the ground breaking ceremony.

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