Iowa schools will get nearly seven million dollars this year under a federal program designed to repair and modernize school building. Milton Wilson of the Iowa Department of Education says schools can win grants from the program for two things. He says the money can be used to construct new buildings, or to remodel or repair old buildings to reduce class size. Schools can also apply for funds to make fire and life safety improvements on the buildings to satisfy improvements required by the State Fire Marshal’s office. Four-point-four million dollars of the money is earmarked for construction grants. He says under the construction grants, there’s a maximum of 500-thousand dollars and there’s a matching requirement of between 20 and 50 percent, depending on a district’s ability to raise funds. He says there’s no match required for the fire and life safety grants, and there’s a maximum grant amount based on the size of the school. Wilson says the grants are awarded on a competitive basis. He says a team reads and scores the grants based on the application and they’re awarded until the money runs out. Wilson says this is the fifth year for the program — which he says is popular. He says they’ve always had more applications than they’ve had funds for. Wilson encourages schools to apply for the grants. The deadline for applications is November 14th.
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