AP NEWS

DC Public Schools eyes future

April 3, 2019

The commons area at David City High School was full of people on March 25 who were in attendance for a special meeting being held by the David City Public Schools Board of Education.

The intent was to update the public on the district’s long-term facility development plan.

Superintendent Chad Denker gave the audience an overview of construction completed so far. The new weight rooms and commons area at the high school were completed as a part of Phase 1 in 2015 at a cost of $2.1 million. Phase 2 was the construction of the special education wing at David City Elementary completed in 2018 for $1.4 million. Now, Denker said the district is ready to move on to the next project.

Phase 3 is the construction of additional classrooms and district administration offices at the high school. The goal is to have construction designs completed sometime this summer or fall and begin building in early 2020. Denker said the goal is to have it completely finished by fall 2021 at an estimated cost of $5 million.

While the student population hasn’t been growing at a steady rate, Denker said several courses - like science - have been growing and expanding.

“We’ve been talking about our long-range facility plan for the last five or six years,” Denker said. “At this point, we’ve been talking about what’s next. We’re trying to continue to move forward with the educational needs of the district, keeping in mind the long range, 20-year plan.”

Project architects Tim Ripp and Adam Post also presented at the meeting. Post said the expansion will also allow for district offices to move inside the high school building and be more centrally located.

“One thing this does do is it takes all of the district admin offices from across the street and puts them into this facility, as well,” Post said. “So that frees up that building for additional education uses.”

After Phase 3, the district has construction projects up to Phase 8 in the works. Phase 4 is a 10-year plan to build a new theater and gymnasium for $5.5 million. Phase 5-8 are all 20-year plans and include new lockers and wrestling rooms for $2.5 million, an additional 20 classrooms for $7 million or renovating the current three-story high school for $4 million, building a bus barn or additional parking for $500,000 and a new competition gym for $4 million.

None of these projects have been finalized and may be swapped around depending on the district’s needs, Denker said. Also, taxes will not be increased to fund these building projects. With current taxes, he said the school is able to save away about $1.2 million into its building fund each year, which should be able to cover all construction costs.

“None of these are set in stone,” Denker said. “We haven’t approved any of them. However, we are hoping that in the near future (we can) give Phase 3 a serious look, get approval from the board so that we can move forward.”

Eric Schucht is a reporter for The Banner-Press. Reach him via email at eric.schucht@lee.net.