POCAHONTAS - Residents in the Pocahontas Area Community School district recently voted in favor of a $10.89 million bond issue that will improve the learning environment for middle and high school students in the district.
In order to pass, the bond issue need a 60 percent "yes" vote. The bond passed comfortably with 73 percent voting yes, according to Pocahontas Area Superintendent Joe Kramer.
With the passing of the bond issue, the district will construct a new 6th through 12th grade education wing on the site of the present school without relocating any students in the process. The 42,000 square foot addition will be located to the south and west of the gymnasium near Iowa Highway 3 and will include a new media center, classrooms, commons area, dining area, kitchen, locker rooms and administration areas.
The new building will replace part of the existing building, which was constructed in 1921. The current building has decomposing concrete and outdated steam, water and sewer systems.
"With technology constantly changing, we decided it was time for an update," Kramer said.
The school consulted with FEH Associates, an engineering and architectural firm from Sioux City and Des Moines to study the building and give a series of recommendations on remodeling and reconstruction projects.
It was recommended that the school build a brand new facility at a new location; however, the funds to rebuild the entire school were not available.
"We knew we couldn't rebuild the entire structure, but we want to improve as much of the facility as we possibly can," Kramer said.
It was decided to build a new classroom wing and keep the existing gymnasium, instrumental and vocal music and industrial arts classrooms, which were constructed after 1954.
"We want to utilize as much of the existing building as we possibly can," Kramer said.
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