By Gregg Hennigan
IOWA CITY – Another high school will be built in the Iowa City school district – sometime.
And high school boundaries may be changing.
That much the school board made clear at a work session Tuesday night.
School board members saying they are committed to opening a third comprehensive high school was not exactly a huge surprise. I used the word “recommitted” in the Gazette story.
The need for a new high school was a key selling point by school officials during the school infrastructure local-option sales tax two years ago. And the district already is setting aside $3.2 million of that money each year for its construction.
A couple of school board members said last night that they thought opening another high school already was a stated goal by the board.
“Frankly, I thought we did, a long time ago,” say we were headed in that direction, Tim Krumm said.
But when a new high school was not included in a five-year facilities plan released by Superintendent Lane Plugge in January, some community members said they thought the issue had fallen off the district’s radar.
A petition that circulated in the spring that collected several hundred signatures called on the school board to “resume” planning for a new school in the North Liberty area.
Perhaps the more significant discussion last night was on boundary changes. The board asked Plugge to develop scenarios for changing high school boundaries to address the enrollment disparity between City High and West High.
I recently wrote about this issue. After last night, it appears the board may vote in the coming months on changing high school boundaries.
A couple of board members said they felt changing boundaries districtwide was tied into this. Mike Cooper, for example, said elementary and high school boundaries are all part of the same problem.
But a majority of the board said the high school enrollment issues needed immediate attention, whereas redistricting would take a long time to sort out.