Fort Madison voters to decide on school facility issue - WGEM.com: Quincy News, Weather, Sports, and Radio

Fort Madison voters to decide on school facility issue

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Voters will decide whether or not to support the $27 million dollar bond issue for the district. Voters will decide whether or not to support the $27 million dollar bond issue for the district.
Many classrooms are without air conditioning in the two buildings. Many classrooms are without air conditioning in the two buildings.
The district had to let out early five times this year. The district had to let out early five times this year.
Lincoln Elementary Schools is one of the district's aging facilities. Lincoln Elementary Schools is one of the district's aging facilities.
The district would also like to address technology issues in the older buildings. The district would also like to address technology issues in the older buildings.
FORT MADISON, Ia. (WGEM) -

On June 27, voters in Fort Madison will get to decide if their school district can upgrade its facilities, and replace both Richardson and Lincoln elementary schools.

High temperatures, coupled with undersized classrooms have led the Fort Madison Community School district to ask voters for help with the aging facilities.

"The next steps for facilities is to build a new elementary school for our Pre-K through third grade students." Superintendent Erin Slater said, "They are currently housed in two very old facilities that are no longer meeting our needs."

Those include needs like keeping students in class for the day. With five early outs over the last school year, Slater said the district broke its record for early dismissals.

"What that means is when the temperature reaches at least 100 degrees in the classrooms, we have to release school, and unfortunately because we are a very wide district when it comes to square miles, we have to release the entire district." Slater said.

Slater added that the district has also estimated how much it would cost to get the two schools renovated.

"In looking at bringing those buildings up to ADA compliance, climate control, as well as an attempt at some of the flexible learning spaces because both of those buildings are landlocked, the renovation would be 34.1 million dollars." Slater said.

So, trying to upgrade the aging facilities would cost 7 million dollars more than what the Slater said it would cost to build a new elementary school. Slater added that dealing with older buildings can be tricky, which is also raising concerns about old technology in the classroom.

"When you have a device that you're using to support instruction, and that device isn't reliable, it really does disrupt learning." Slater said.

If voters approve the referendum, the district would hope to finish the new school sometime in the next two to three years.

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