WATERLOO — Bids are being sought for construction of a new Lowell Elementary School with an estimated $25 million price tag as efforts continue to reach an insurance settlement on the existing building.
The Board of Education Monday approved plans and specifications for the school, which will be rebuilt on its existing site at 1628 Washington St.
The current building, nearly 90 years old, was deemed structurally unsafe following a partial roof collapse on Feb. 20, 2019. Since then, classes have been held at the former facilities of Central Rivers Area Education Agency in Cedar Falls.
Waterloo Community Schools is “doing our best” to reach an insurance settlement, said Superintendent Jane Lindaman, but so far has been unsuccessful.
“We are continuing to meet with EMC out of Des Moines,” she noted, which provides the district’s insurance coverage. “We are working with legal counsel to explore our options.”
The district’s future 1% sales tax proceeds would be a major component of funding for the new school’s estimated expense, although the eventual insurance funds it receives would offset those costs.
Plans call for construction of a 450-student capacity school. That is larger than the existing building, but is the typical size of all new elementary schools in the district. The project “goes out to bidders on March 31,” said Lindaman, with a bid opening planned on April 21. A recommendation for the low bid is expected to come to the board shortly after that.