May 15, 2021

CCSD explores options to save ECC

As discussion about improvements to the Creston Community School District’s facilities and grounds continues, the board met with Gary Briley, CCSD maintenance director, and Loren Rains of Urbandale-based IMEG Corp. during its April 19 meeting. Rains presented two possible options to remedy eroding pipe threatening the structure of the Early Childhood Center on North Elm Street.

According to an ECC storm sewer study by IMEG, the city has storm sewer under the ECC property. The sewer, a 48-inch reinforced concrete pipe, is eroding, causing the ECC gym floor to sag. The board is concerned about the building’s integrity and potential safety issues.

The first option to rehabilitate the storm sewer pipe is to install a cured-in-place pipe under the building, which has a lifespan of nearly 50 years. The second option is to fill in the existing storm sewer pipe and install a new storm sewer that bypasses the building. The estimated costs are $98,660 and $$197,650, respectively.

The storm sewer update is a part of a proposed plan to build a new competition gym, tennis courts, improvements at the athletic complex, and upgrade parking lots and sidewalks at the high school and elementary/middle school buildings. That comes with an estimated $20 million dollar price tag.

To lead the charge of the district’s facilities and grounds improvement project, CCSD board hired Des Moines-based DLR Group in March for architectural, engineering and support services. The board has yet to take any action as it continues to collect additional info.

As the board considers new construction or updates to other structures, Deron Stender, CCSD superintendent, said the district has interested parties in the former AEA property, which the district has retained sole rights. Greater Regional Health has expressed interest in the property to build a child care center. He said there has also been interest in the ECC building.

Business Manager Billie Jo Green shared the school’s bond rating was upgraded. If the district goes for a bond or any borrowing, Stender said a greater bonding average means a lower interest rate which would save the district money.

As it continues discussions in relation to long-term planning, the board will seek feedback from the community, in an effort to explores options and educate tax payers on issues that include voter approval on maintaining the lax levy.

For more information on the district’s comprehensive facilities plan and priorities, visit crestonschools.org.

SARAH SCULL

Sarah Scull is a San Diego transplant living in Creston, Iowa. Sarah joined the Creston News Advertiser editorial staff as a reporter in in 2012 and was promoted to managing editor in November 2018. After two years in that role, she has since become associate editor to spend her time doing what she loves – writing and photography.