WIUM Tristates Public Radio

Fort Madison Schools Seek More Input

Fort Madison, IA – The Fort Madison School District will seek more public input on the design of a new school.

Superintendent Ken Marang says the district's architectural firm, Des Moines-based DLR Group, will meet with administrators, teachers, and members of the community on September 15 and 16.

He says the retreat will allow the firm to obtain more specific information about what the entire community expects to see in a new school for Fort Madison's 4th-8th grade students.

"They will go back and look at what they heard," says Marang, "and in a month or so, they will come back and meet with that group again and say 'is this what you all said?' That way we will have an general outline of what the building will look like and what will be in it."

Fort Madison's new school will be built on the city's west side. The city owns about 100 acres of land near the intersection of Bluff Road and 48th Street.

Marang says the price tag will not exceed $20-million. He says the district will borrow against future sales tax revenue and use several million dollars in existing funds to pay for the project.

Marang says Fort Madison will receive between $1.5-million and $2-million a year under the new statewide local option sales tax.

Construction is expected to get underway in the spring. Marang says the school could be completed by 2012.

The Fort Madison School Board voted 6-1 to build the new school. It will replace Denmark Elementary and Fort Madison Middle School.