The Clinton Herald, Clinton, Iowa

November 6, 2012

Northeast plans 1,500-seat gym, fitness area

By Mary Lou Hinrichsen
Herald Staff Writer

GOOSE LAKE — The Northeast School Board has signed an agreement with ModernDesign Architects to develop a proposed design for a new gymnasium-fitness center and two new science classrooms.

ModernDesign, of Janesville, is the firm which designed Northeast’s Fine Arts Center.  The new agreement  came after the board had also interviewed representatives of  Shive Hattery, Moline; FEH Associates, Sioux City, and BLDD Architects,  Davenport.

The architect is to consult  coaches, staff and the community in the design process and present a preliminary design to the board in December. The cost up to that point will be $8,900.

Superintendent Jim Cox told the Herald the current gymnasium in the middle/high school building “will not seat the crowd at many of our activities. It exceeds the code limitations (800) at times.”

While Northeast’s Whole Grade Sharing agreement with the East Central school district will go away after the new Easton Valley school district gets up and running, Cox said, “We presently have 150 open enrollments” for next year.  “Most of  the  students  are  staying at Northeast.”

The present gymnasium will continue be used, according to Cox. “We can have activities going there at the same time.    

“A major part of the new project,” Cox said, “is the need for two or three additional science rooms  and a fitness center for all to use.” Northeast High School currently has a fitness center that can be used by staff and community for a fee.

The finances

“The debt on the elementary school will be paid off  in 2014, one  year early,” Cox said, “which allows a bond issue for the new project, should the voters choose, beginning in the 2015 tax levy year.”

He said the remaining debt on the $6.5 million  Fine  Arts Center is about $2 million, which is being paid for with sales tax  revenues and a FEMA federal stimulus grant.

“Later sales tax revenues, which average about $420,000 per fiscal year, will not be used on the new project, but will be marked for repairs and updates of existing facilities.”

Other topics

Another subject discussed by the school  board  recently was a before- and after- school day care program for students.

According to the minutes of the Oct. 18  meeting, such a program is being looked into, possibly to start next semester or next school year, depending on the needs of families.

And on Oct. 29  the  school  board  held a special,  closed meeting  to conduct a disciplinary hearing for three students. After 35 minutes, the board came into  open session and approved  a consent agreement  for disciplinary measures for each student.