Decorah School District releases facility needs survey

Residents of the Decorah Community School District (DCSD) provided input and feedback on the proposed construction of a new school to replace John Cline Elementary School and West Side Early Childhood Center.
The survey was available April 9-23 and asked a series of questions about the district’s facility needs at the elementary level and sought feedback for the Board of Education and administration as they plan next steps in the project.
“We want to thank all the community members who took the time to complete the survey and provide critical feedback as the district moves forward with the planning process,” said DCSD Superintendent Dr. Tim Cronin. “The need for a new elementary school is subject
that has been studied for more than 15 years, and these responses will help inform future decisions. We will continue engaging our entire community as this process continues.”
Over 76 percent of the survey’s 1,151 respondents said they would support the construction of a new elementary school, while 15.4 percent said they would not support the project, and 8.1 percent said they were unsure.
The survey asked respondents to rank potential features that could be included with a school project. The top responses were pickleball courts, an outdoor amphitheater, and outdoor basketball courts. Valuable feedback to open-ended questions also was collected from respondents, such as what they feel should be a focus of the district and Board of Education when building a school.
West Side was constructed in 1939, and John Cline first welcomed students back in 1964. Administrators said the facilities have many pressing issues today, including outdated structural, mechanical, and electrical systems; inadequate classroom and storage space; no air conditioning and poor ventilation; asbestos located onsite; and sanitary sewer problems, among others.
The Board of Education, administration, architects and engineers, and committees that include community members have examined the facilities and have considered possible facility solutions for the past 16 years.

The consensus is that investing funds at West Side or John Cline is not a practical, cost-effective, or long-term option for DCSD. To view the complete survey report, visit the website –

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