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Clinton school district administration planning next steps for new high school

CLINTON, Iowa -- Clinton teachers and administrators want to thank voters for approving the use of tax money on school improvements.

The next step in the planning of renovations for Clinton High School is a bond issue vote on March 3, 2020 to secure more funding for the $62 million project, Clinton Community School District Superintendent Gary DeLacy said.

The approval to use money from the save tax, one percent of the seven percent sales tax in Clinton County, secures just one third of the renovation's funding.

"The community recognizes the benefit that one percent sales tax is for schools and local property tax payers," DeLacy said.

The save tax funding kicks starts in 2030, but DeLacy says the district is planning to borrow against that money to get started on construction as soon as possible.

"The vote is going to affect the entire school district and ensures facility planning and good buildings for our kids until 2050," DeLacy said.

The superintendent calls the save tax money approved "guaranteed income," and he hopes to start construction on the high school's main academic wing, and what they call the "shops" wing that also houses the school's fine arts center, by 2021.

"The timeline, once we break ground, is about a two to four year process," DeLacy said.

Tandi Permenter, teacher's union president and history teacher at Clinton Middle School, said she and her peers are looking forward to the new facility, even though she won't personally be working there.

"[Middle and elementary school teachers] have had the experience already," Permenter says. "It's been great. We're excited for [high school teachers] to have the opportunity for a better facility."

DeLacy said the district is planning community education events before the March 2020 vote on the bond issue, to answer any questions the community might have about the project.

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