Voters in the Anamosa area are heading to the polls today to decide whether to pay for building a new middle school. Anamosa superintendent Dale Monroe says the current century-old school is in dire need of replacement, especially after the winter’s many blizzards that dumped heavy snow.
“You may’ve heard of some issues that we’ve had in the last three months regarding ceilings that have collapsed,” Monroe says. “We’ve had inspections from a structural engineer that have indicated that the building has lived its life.” The school was in the news in January after a ceiling and a row of lights collapsed while 18 students and two teachers were in the room. No one was seriously hurt.
Monroe says posts and two-by-12s across the span are now helping hold the ceilings up. They’ve also discovered seven other potentially-dangerous areas that consist of cracking in the floor joists and they’re shoring those up as well. Monroe says a new school would provide numerous benefits.
While there are now three buildings in use, the new school would be a single two-story structure. He says the new school will also feature lots of natural lighting, efficient heating and cooling, a non-leaking roof and a special drop-off area for buses. Voters are being asked to authorize spending more than 15-million dollars to build and furnish the school as well as to purchase the land for the school and future athletic fields. Monroe says the roof collapse provided proof that a new building is much-needed.
He says, “It certainly brought to the attention of the public who might not have know the condition of the current middle school, how serious this building is in terms of aging.” Voters have gone to the polls on this issue several times before and each time, it failed to get the majority percentage needed to pass. Monroe says if the voters don’t approve this time, they’ll have to pursue other options. The polls are open until 8 P.M.
By Janelle Tucker, KMCH, Manchester