At the December 19th meeting, the Bettendorf School Board approved a 10-year facility master plan including a phased modernization of the Bettendorf Middle School, and facility improvements at Bettendorf High School, Herbert Hoover Elementary, and Paul Norton Elementary. Directors also directed the district administration to pursue a community vote on a general obligation (GO) bond, as soon as March 2023, to fund the projects at the middle and high schools. The district would use future SAVE (1 cent sales tax) revenue and other financial resources to fund the Herbert Hoover and Paul Norton elementary projects.
The plan was the culmination of multiple Facility Advisory Committee meetings since September 2022 with community, parent, and staff representatives. The group worked with OPN Architects through an extensive needs assessment of existing facilities, and facility survey feedback from parents and staff. They also considered facility inequities compared to current education standards, projected future needs, and newer schools in the district.
Bettendorf Middle School was identified as having the most need due to its aging, 1960s infrastructure. The facility modernization plan includes additions to the school to address the need for larger classrooms to meet current learning environment standards. It also includes demolition of the original 1960s building and its extremely outdated infrastructure and utilities.
Bettendorf High School facility improvements include a renovation of the original 1972 school’s fine arts classrooms to support ADA compliance and current classroom standards. The plan adds activity and athletic facilities to help meet the needs of our students, athletes, and community. In addition, the plan develops needed classroom areas for career and technical education (CTE) opportunities to help better prepare students for their futures.
The Herbert Hoover Elementary projects include a much-needed update of their 1966 (2,400 sq ft gym) to the current standard gym facility of approximately (6,200 sq feet), equitable to the current district standard for elementaries. It also allows for additional needed collaborative learning spaces, a current standard in education.
Paul Norton Elementary was constructed in 1985, and much of the school has not been updated through the years. The plan includes the addition of a collaborative space for staff and students, an update of the classroom cabinetry that is at the end of its useful life, moving the music room from the gym stage to a classroom that is ADA compliant, and a gym that is equitable with other district elementary schools.
The estimated cost of the 10-year facility master plan is $98.5M. District finances would allow for the district’s SAVE and district funds to cover the cost of the phasing of the Herbert Hoover and Paul Norton Elementary projects at an estimated cost of $15.1M beginning in 2028. Those funds are currently being used to fund the new Mark Twain and Grant Wood elementary schools completed in the last five years. The recommendation of the committee is to seek taxpayer funding of $69.25M for the middle and high school projects through a voter-approved, 20-year GO bond.
In January, the district will be working to obtain 1,039 signatures from BCSD residents to allow the district to bring a petition for a GO bond to BCSD resident voters in March. The vote would propose a $2.70 addition to property tax in the district. The impact to a $200,000 homeowner would be approximately $24.33 a month.