WAVERLY — A $577,200 purchase of land where a new elementary school will be built on the city’s northeast side was unanimously approved Monday by the Board of Education.
A total of 38.48 acres at 2513 Horton Road was part of the agreement. “That’s $15,000 an acre,” said Ed Klamfoth, superintendent of Waverly-Shell Rock Community Schools
“It looks like it’s going to be on the southern end of that property,” he said, of the building’s placement. Klamfoth noted that the Summit Drive Northeast intersection with Horton would “potentially” be used as one of the entrances to the school property. Any portion of the parcel north of the school that isn’t needed will be sold.
Previously, the district had only said the purchase would be some portion of 120 acres of land in that area.
Bremer County online records show the district is buying the property from Karen Nieman of Shell Rock, who is listed as the deed holder. Its 2021 assessed value is $51,350, including a garage on the parcel.
The planned school is one of two elementary buildings the district will construct after voters approved a $31 million bond issue March 2. In February, ahead of the referendum, the district announced it had negotiated purchase agreements with property owners on the two school sites with the exact acreage and location still to be worked out.
The total estimated cost of each new school is $15.1 million-$17.1 million, including the land purchase prices. Facility improvements are also proposed at Shell Rock Elementary and the high school, with additional funding from the district’s 1% sales tax revenues.
Kate Payne of InVision Architecture in Waterloo, which is designing the new schools, said work will begin first on those buildings.
“The plan right now is to do the two different elementary schools in parallel,” she said. Bids would be due in February and March next year with construction wrapping up in the summer of 2023 for fall openings.
Once the new elementary schools have opened, Payne said that will provide more space for students while the renovation work is going on. In the Shell Rock building, “it would shorten the renovation timeline dramatically” if students temporarily moved out of the school. She said that could mean relocating them to one of the vacated Waverly schools.
The other new school site is on the west side of Waverly. It was planned on what was formerly known as Champion’s Ridge, but has shifted to an area north of that. Klamfoth said he wasn’t sure how soon a purchase will be finalized as officials continue to work through the details with land owners.
In other business, the board approved a $206,800 bid to pave the high school parking lot from Heartland Asphalt. “This is for the entire student parking lot on the east side of the building,” said Klamfoth.
The Mason City company was the only bidder on the project, which would be completed by Aug. 14. Cost was estimated at $195,000.