Q: Could the Waterloo Schools put the Lowell kids in the old Castle Hill building?
A: The building is no longer available to be used for school classroom space. It is currently being used by the school district for storage.
Q: Today I received a call from someone saying they were the Social Security office and if I didn’t call them back they would suspend my Social Security check. Is this a scam?
A: Sounds like it to us. The Social Security Administration advises: “If you are unsure as to the authenticity of someone who claims to be an SSA employee, please call SSA’s toll-free number, 1 (800) 772-1213 to verify the reason for the contact and the person’s identity prior to providing any information to the caller.”
Q: With the Cedar Falls School board and superintendent pushing for a new $112 million high school, why aren’t the taxpayers told it won’t solve growth of more students? It will basically provide the same space as the current high school so an additional add on will be necessary and more bonds in the future.
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A: Cedar Falls Community Schools spokeswoman Janelle Darst responds: Preliminary plans for a new school would include a total of 295,000 square feet of space — about 30 percent more than the 226,000 square feet at the current high school. To renovate the current high school to meet 21st century learning needs, the building would need to be expanded to 345,000 square feet. Due to the many inefficiencies at the current high school, more total space would be required to reach the same ends, have much longer timelines, be more expensive to acquire additional land near the site and still have significant access and safety challenges. A new building would be larger than the current high school, but smaller and more efficient than expanding the existing building. The Cedar Falls School District would ask voters for a $69.9 million dollar bond to have similar facilities as other growing high schools and communities that meet the needs of students, staff and the community for the next 50-70 years. The district has developed a website to serve as a hub of information for the community as it relates to the high school facility needs assessment process, including data collected, processes utilized, comparisons to other high schools, presentations, and more. To learn more, go online to https://sites.google.com/cfschools.org/cf-high-school or visit www.cfschools.org under “About Us” and “CFHS Facilities Information.”
Q: What is Betsy DeVos’ personal and educational background?
A: The current United States secretary of education was born Elisabeth Prince on Jan. 8, 1958. She grew up in Holland, Mich., daughter of a billionaire industrialist. She graduated from Calvin College in Grand Rapids, Mich., with a degree in business economics in 1979. DeVos is married to Dick DeVos, the former CEO of Amway. The family was listed by Forbes as the 88th-richest in America with an estimated net worth of $5.4 billion. Her brother, Erik Prince, a former U.S. Navy SEAL officer, is the founder of the private military company Blackwater USA.
Calls are taken on a special Courier phone line at 234-3566. Questions are answered by Courier staff and staff at the Waterloo Public Library.