It’s moving day for Keokuk schoolkids. Superintendent Jane Babcock says they began classes a couple weeks ago, but today 500 students at Keokuk Middle School will put their books into desks in a new building, which was completed ahead of schedule.The building was started a year and-a-half ago, slated to open this des December, and the date was first moved up to October, and then today. Superintendent Babcock says the community showed its support by passing a local-option sales tax and a bond issue to pay for the new school, and a big 750-thousand dollar school grant helped. She says there’s also a big new auditorium, and the new building’s bright and cheery, a good place for teaching. There are skylights and the building’s heated with geothermal, which in the planning turned out to be just as cost-effective as a traditional heating system. Babcock says having the grant and sales-tax revenue in addition to a bond sale made it easier to finance the new middle school.The total project is about fourteen-point-seven million dollars but the one-cent local-option tax paid for about half that so they only had to ask voters to approve a bond sale for the other half the cost.
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