School Board Meets to Discuss New Early Childhood Building

The Storm Lake Board of Education held a special meeting Wednesday night to discuss a new Early Childhood Center building.

Representatives from the DLR Group were on hand to review previous meetings and give a project update, with the Early Childhood Committee also present. This was the seventh meeting to discuss the proposed project, dating back to the kickoff meeting in April.

The DLR Group started with nine site options for a new Early Childhood building, which they’ve narrowed down to three, all on the west end of town, including…north of the Smokin’ Hereford…west of the Middle School by the Water Treatment Plant…and on the northside of West Milwaukee Avenue, east of 90th Avenue. The site selection process has included requirements such as 122-thousand square feet, for a one-story building, and with adequate room for playgrounds.

Superintendent Carl Turner says they have not contacted any of the landowners of those sites…

Turner said the board soon needs to decide where the site will be so negotiations can begin.

The building would include a 12-section pre-K, and ten sections for both kindergarten and 1st grade.

Turner said some people might question if that is enough…

Turner said the most the district would be able to bond according to the law is 37-point-four million dollars, but due to previous school projects that are still being paid off, their available bonding limit is 18-point-seven million dollars. The elementary school project will be paid off in 2022, but the high school renovations won’t be paid off until 2029.

A new Early Childhood Center would cost around 31-million dollars.

Three bond vote dates next year were given as options by the DLR Group, with the earliest being April 3rd. Construction would begin on a new Early Childhood Center in 2019, and be ready to open at the start of the 2020 school year, or perhaps later in that school year.