An Eastern Iowa school district is experiencing some extreme growing pains. Voters in the Clear Creek Amana school district will soon be asked to approve a tax hike to pay for not one but two new schools. Tiffin, which is part of the district, has quadrupled in size in the last five years. Clear Creek Amana High School Principal Tom McDonald says students feel the pinch in the high school hallway. “The kids oftentimes, you know, have to turn sideways to get through to get to their next class,” he says.
At an elementary school, kindergarteners line up lunch at 10:30 in the morning. The cafeteria can only handle 100 of the school’s nearly 500 students at one time, so the kids eat in shifts over a period of three hours. Five years ago, the town of Tiffin had less than five-hundred residents. Today, the population is approaching two-thousand, with seven new housing developments.
Tara Swanson just moved into a nice new house in Tiffin. “The mall’s just like a mile away,” she says. “That’s also very nice, too.” On February 14th, Swanson and other voters in the district will decide whether to increase property taxes to raise 25 million dollars for a new elementary school and a new high school.