The Clinton Herald, Clinton, Iowa

Education

June 19, 2014

Property sales make board's goals list

CLINTON — Three buildings are slated to go onto the Clinton Community School District’s list of vacant facilities, and the school board is looking to plan ahead for the future of those soon-to-be empty structures.

Board members outlined a list of eight tentative goals during their strategic plan session Tuesday in the Clinton Administration Center. Once upon a time, the building housing the meeting also was an empty school — Roosevelt — and looking to be repurposed.

When the Lincoln Alternative High School, Lyons Middle School and Washington Middle School are all vacated in the next year, board president Jim McGraw said he hopes the district can be “good stewards” to either sell or repurpose each one.

“We definitely want to preserve a piece of history if we can,” McGraw said. “But if we can’t, we want to make sure the use of that property is for the benefit of the community. We also want to be good neighbors and not create an eyesore.”

McGraw said the district has fielded some “very preliminary” inquiries about the future use of the buildings with some interesting entities.

“We’ve had conversations with the city, conversations with Ashford, private developers, but they’re very, very preliminary,” he said. “I’d have to classify them as ‘step one.’”

As for the other goals, board members hope to set benchmarks to continue pushing the district in a positive direction. Curriculum Director John Jorgenson on Tuesday reported higher graduation rates, better test scores and lower dropout rates in the 2013-14 school year. Other details indicated to him that programs like “response to intervention” are integrating well in the district.

The session came less than a month after an open enrollment survey indicated public perceptions about Clinton Schools are contrary to the board’s reality. Board member Eric Gettes, who spearheaded the survey efforts, said it’s important for the district to utilize the information from that study into another goal.

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