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Mid-Prairie School District Expansion

WELLMAN, Iowa (CBS2/FOX28) -- At a time when some of Iowa's small town school district populations are declining, the Mid-Prairie School District is seeing steady growth.

Now, it is asking taxpayers for a $10.6 million bond referendum increase to help pay for some much-needed expansions.

"Schools are always thinking about their facilities and thinking about how they can improve them to make the learning better," said superintendent Mark Schneider.

Among the proposed changes, Mid-Prairie wants to install a geo-thermal heating and cooling system in its middle school, install full-building air conditioning at Washington Township Elementary School, and construct a new alternative school building.

The high school's main office would also move from the second floor to the first floor to increase security.

The central district offices would also move out of two construction trailers across from the high school on Highway 22. Employees have been working there in cramped spaces for three years.

"There's a lot of things we deal with in the central office that are confidential, so that is a really big challenge that we face every day," said business manager Cindy Steege.

The proposed expansions and construction are all to serve a growing student population. Mid-Prairie sees new students every year, many flocking from one of 14 other school districts to access its special education, home school assistance, and tailored graduation requirement programs.

"In my humble opinion, which is not too humble, Mid-Prairie, to me, has always been really student-focused," Schneider said with a laugh.

He hopes to keep that focus going strong.

The vote for the bond referendum takes place on April 1 in Kalona, Wellman, and West Chester.

More information is available through the Washington County Auditor's Office at (319) 653-7715.
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