New Clinton Middle School makes sense out of pennies

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This is a design for success. After a year of work, the new Clinton Middle School is close to completion.

"There's been exciting changes that happen all along the way," said Principal Dan Boyd.

Inside this state-of-the-art building, workers are busy in the Media Center. Some 800 6th-8th graders will study here.

"It can actually create a new lab station," said Boyd.

The new lab will showcase STEM topics: science, technology, engineering and math assignments.

"You kind of check off the milestones as you go from one thing to the next," he said.

The $20-million project is funded through a penny sales tax. It also paid for extensive improvements at Clinton High School.

Clinton voters approved the one-cent deal in 2008. It's helping the district to build for the future.

The Innovation Room represents a partnership with the University of Iowa.  It will promote education and collaboration. It features work stations for individual and team studies.

"Really create a scientific community where they're solving problems," he said.

This will be a busy construction season. More than 100 staffers should begin moving in November. Kids could arrive for classes before the holiday break.

Students will get plenty of time to adjust to their new environment. That's so they can concentrate on classwork.

"Really work hard in this new facility at learning at high levels," he concluded.

It's a new look at learning, one penny at a time.