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Charles City School District to host community meeting to discuss high school facility needs

By James Grob, [email protected]

The Charles City Community School District will host a community meeting next Tuesday, May 24, to review some potential solutions to facility needs at Charles City High School building.

A community-driven task force has been evaluating needs at CCHS over the past several months and is seeking input from the community to help the district create a long-term facilities master plan that addresses those needs.

Among other items, the needs at CCHS include spaces that support 21st-century learning, building accessibility, greater flexibility in classrooms and air conditioning. The meeting will take place from 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. on Tuesday in the high school cafeteria.

“Our community task force has done an outstanding job of examining our high school facility needs and discussing a number of potential solutions to address those needs,” Charles City School Board President Pat Rottinghaus stated in a release this week. “Now, we aim to have an in-depth conversation with our residents to look at these issues and find a solution that makes the most sense for our entire school district community. We look forward to taking the next step in this important process.”

The meeting will also feature a discussion of the results of a recent community-wide survey, through which 438 district residents provided input and feedback. According to the survey results, 72% of community members agree that the high school’s facility needs must be addressed soon. The respondents said that the most important building factors were adequately sized spaces and accessibility.

The respondents ranked their most important priorities for facility improvements, and the top three factors were learning environment (32%), safety and security (28%) and building adequacy (19%). Respondents ranked “space for future growth” as the top factor in high school building improvement, followed by parent and bus pick-up and drop-off.

While 51% of the respondents said that they believed the current school buildings overall reflect the community’s values and beliefs regarding education, just 31% said they believed that about the high school building in particular.

More than half of the respondents (51%) ranked central air conditioning at the high school as first or second most important factor for a quality learning environment. Other factors ranked at or near the top included distributed space for diverse learners (38%), flexibility and adaptability (16%) and variety of learning space (11%).

Two-thirds of the respondents reside in Charles City and respondents were made up of parents, staff and former students.

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