'Need is obvious, but when will the new elementary be built?'
While buildings seemed to dominate a goal setting session of the Storm Lake School Board this week, board members didn't leave out improving math and reading skills and providing staff development.
Highlights of the initial goal setting session include discussion of a one-cent sales tax for schools, new elementary and auditorium proposals and the possibility of teaching Spanish to elementary students.
All of the ideas on the table are only proposals, said Superintendent Bill Kruse. School board members will review the initial ideas and come back during the May meeting in hopes of whittling the list down to a manageable number.
Before thinking about next year, the board reviewed where it stands with the current year's goals. Kruse said the district has done a good job at meeting the goals, which included exploring new elementary and auditorium options, character education, ELL programs, and math and reading among students.
One of the largest projects facing the district is the possible construction of a new elementary and/or auditorium.
This district collected data on costs of other elementary schools and auditoriums in the state. Ken Wictor of Neuman Monson Wictor and Merle Rambo of Rambo and Associates were contacted to provide approximate costs, though they advised some difficulty of making estimates without knowing the needs and wants of the district.
The Creston Community School District accepted bids for an elementary and middle school building at $10.2 million, or $71 per square foot, in December 2001. A new elementary completed in 1999 in Panora cost $6.3 million, or $65 per square foot.
Both projects were under the state average of $105 per square foot in 2002, according to the Storm Lake School Board.
The Storm Lake School Board has not prioritized building projects facing the district, which also includes possible involvement in a community center plan.
The board wishes to explore the possibility of a one-cent local option sales tax for schools in the county. Past estimates say the tax could bring between $1.2 million and $1.4 million for all schools in Buena Vista County.