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IC Schools Break Ground On New School

IOWA CITY, IA (CBS2/FOX28) - The Iowa City Community School District broke ground on its newest elementary school on Tuesday.

South Elementary School is being built on 15 acres of ground on Sycamore Street, near Sycamore Mall and Highway 6.

The area where the new school is to be built is sparsely populated, surrounded by farm land.

Iowa City leaders say that the new school will soon be in one of the fastest growing parts of the city.  They say they have already been contacted by developers to begin building homes in the area.

"Nothing drives development like a school," said Iowa City associate planner Sarah Walz.

As a group of elementary school-aged students dug into the dirt at the Tuesday groundbreaking, Walz was thinking about how many more of them could show up. The city has already received requests from developers, and expects more.

"The big issue for us is to make sure we have those connected, complete streets with sidewalks, we want kids to be able to walk and bike to school," Walz said.

That's big news for Elizabeth Hachtman, who can see the South Elementary plot from her house.

"I'm sick of riding the bus," Elizabeth said. "I'm sick of riding the bus and it's too noisy."

"Right now my girls bus to Twain, and we love Twain, but we're also excited about the prospect of being at a neighborhood school," said Elizabeth's mom, Sarah Hachtman.

That is, if the kids who go to South Elementary actually live around the building.

Right now, the school district is in the process of redrawing boundaries for where students will go to elementary school. Superintendent Stephen Murley said building South will just be a good chance to move students who are in temporary buildings at nearby Wood Elementary into a brick and mortar building. Again, many things are dependent on what is built next.

"You see that there's a different kind of housing coming here, so we do think we're going to get a better demographic mix altogether at southeast Iowa City as we integrate that new facility here," Murley said.

The school is set to open in the fall of 2015.
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