DCSD Board considers timeline for proposed new elementary school

By Roz Weis,

The Decorah Community School District’s (DCSD) plans for a new elementary school are slowly moving forward.

The Decorah Community School District’s (DCSD) plans for a new elementary school are slowly moving forward.
At the Board’s monthly meeting Monday night, DCSD Superintendent Tim Cronin outlined a possible timeline for the proposal.
According to Cronin, the first order of business will be meeting with City of Decorah officials later this month regarding a possible location for the school, which would replace John Cline Elementary School. John Cline currently houses preschool through second grade students.
The current John Cline School was constructed back in 1963.
Cronin stressed that the Board has not endorsed a recent public presentation by Bolton & Menk, the firm studying the long-range use for the North Alley property and the surrounding area near John Cline, and that no definite plans for the new construction have been finalized. He said those plans surrounding John Cline School which were presented by Bolton & Menk were only “preliminary” in scope, and that a new school constructed farther to the west than was outlined might be more desirable.
The Bolton & Menk plan, which was unveiled to the public in mid-December during an open house at City Hall, included a potential rebuilding of John Cline School, as well as moving tennis courts, athletic fields and recycling bins, and overhauling Heivly and Claiborne Streets and the North Alley parking lot.
Back in 2008, an Iowa Construction Advocate Team addressed the DCSD Board following an extensive evaluation of John Cline School, and their findings indicated the building should be replaced. Concerns expressed at that time were problems with the school’s flat roof, windows, interior classroom design and outdated mechanical systems. 

Just the beginning
Cronin said that after the School Board meets with City officials, new strategies for selecting an architect, meeting with the public regarding a possible new school construction project and consideration of financing will unfold.

Full story in the January 12 Public Opinion Newspaper.