Edgewood and McManus Parks eyed for new Bettendorf 3-section elementary school; unknown if city would approve sale or donation of park land

Edgewood and McManus (Rocket) Park are "potential" sites for construction of a new $14-million Bettendorf elementary building to replace Thomas Jefferson and Mark Twain Elementary Schools.

According to the "Administrative Team" recommendation – to be presented at Monday's 6 p.m. school board (1/8) meeting at the Bettendorf High School Performing Arts Center – either of the two city owned parks might enable the district to build a three-section (three classes of each grade kindergarten through fifth grade) building to replace the one-section Jefferson and two-section Twain schools.

School and park board officials have reportedly met about the idea of using the park land for a new school, but no formal request has been made to either the city's Planning and Zoning Commission or the city council.

"We do recognize the previous work of the Elementary Facilities Committee involving community meetings, district administration, consultants, and the Board of Education," the administrative team reports states. "We also recognize the community’s recommendation resulting from this work ending in a board decision to keep all schools open."

"However, we believe the money spent updating aged facilities and infrastructure with limited classroom space would be better spent on the construction of a new a school built to current and future needs of our students," the report states.

The district is in the midst of building a new three-section Grant Wood Elementary School and school officials heard from a consultant last week about how to finance up to $60 million in school improvements, including the new elementary school.

The Administrative Team is comprised of 19 members including all school principals.

The board's facilities committee – comprised of Gordon Staley, Richard Lynch and Paul Castro – "charged the Administrative Team to recommend a district facilities plan that included the 'future ready' items (Handout C) from each building’s priority list while also looking at possible cost saving bundling opportunities with items on the 'facility improvement needs' list (Handouts B & C) determined from Legat’s (the district's architect) building evaluations," according to the report.

"The only parameter set for the team from the facilities committee is that we were to stick to the list of needs and wants provided (the what)," the report states. "The team was free to be creative with 'the how' knowing in the end the facilities committee, finance committee, or full board could utilize our plan in whole, part, or not at all."

CLICK HERE to download the full Administrative Team report.

CLICK HERE to download the "2017 Facility Assessment Board Update/Handout B."

CLICK HERE to download the "2017 Facility Assessment Board Update/Handout C."

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