MOC-Floyd Valley is extremely fortunate to be a growing district! Our certified enrollment increased by 28 students for the 2019-2020 school year. Over the last nine years, we have grown an average of 18 students per year. This equates to a little over 100 students every six years. The increase in enrollment corresponds with the growth in the communities that make up the MOC-Floyd Valley District, and certainly reflect the efforts of our communities to be vibrant and healthy.
We have undergone several improvements in our district facilities over the years, with the most recent improvements coming at the middle school, where we repurposed the lower level and created six new classrooms. We are fortunate that we expanded in this manner. When the construction began on the middle school project, Grades 6-8 enrollment totaled 304 students. During the 2018-19 school year, we had 364 students at the middle school!
We have also been reimagining and repurposing spaces in our other buildings to increase our classroom capacity. In the past four years, we have transformed five computer labs into actual classrooms that help in accommodating our students and staff. We are very near capacity in every building and need to be prepared for the future!
In February of 2018, the Board of Education hired Jerry McCall, of Education Consulting Services, to conduct a review of our programs and facilities and assist us in our long-range plans. Jerry met with staff and community leaders. He also conducted thorough reviews of all of our facilities. The results of our programming and facilities study underscore the need for more capacity – especially at our elementary levels. With this in mind, we have been developing plans for a new single-site elementary school. We are currently working with the City of Orange City to acquire this (City-owned land) between Orange City and Alton. A part of this transaction will include the City acquiring our current Orange City Elementary property.
On the new site, we will construct a TK-5 elementary school with adequate playground space, parking, and activity space. We are also planning for a middle school practice track and ball fields that will also be available to the communities. Finally, the new building will be constructed so that grade-levels are housed in “pods” that increase collaboration and opportunities for students and staff.
- We have met with representatives from the City of Orange City, the City of Alton, Orange City Area Health System, Northwestern College, Unity Christian and Orange City Christian School. Each of these entities is planning facilities improvements and we are seeking to create collaborative partnerships wherever possible.
- The City of Orange City has committed to working with us as we work to purchase approximately 40 acres of City-owned land between Alton and Orange City. Part of our planning includes selling the Orange City Elementary property to the City as equity in the land purchase.
- This project will likely serve as a catalyst for residential growth for the cities of Alton and Orange City.
- We have contracted with Piper-Jaffray as our fiscal agent for this project. Their services come in two phases. The first is to assist us in pre-planning where they will provide us with scenarios and information leading up to a bond referendum. The second will occur if/when the bond referendum is successful. At that time, Piper Jaffray will facilitate the bond sales and advise along the way.
- We have met with representatives from Hospers to consider second-life possibilities for the Hospers Elementary property. We will continue to explore possibilities.
- We have collected a second round of input from faculty and staff regarding the new facilities (over fifteen pages of suggestions) that are being used in site/program planning. This level of input and the work generated from it will be extremely beneficial as this project moves forward.
- Part of the planning process will be to design the TK-5 building and site to allow for future expansion if needed.
- If the project allows, a small part of will be utilized to create needed expansion of the high school facilities to create additional instructional space and improve the security and student services areas.
- CMBA Architects out of Sioux City is leading us through the pre-bond planning and preparation. If/When the bond referendum is successful, they will take us through the actual planning and construction project.
- Our facilities planning team (including Jerry McCall & the CMBA team) has continued joint planning with the Cities of Alton and Orange City to figure out the most beneficial site mix for the purposes of the TK-5 School building and grounds, residential property, and recreational amenities.
- We have worked with Bryan Wells of DGR to determine the best use of the site and have developed a tentative conceptual site plan.
- School Board members and a staff team visited several new elementary buildings in Minneapolis in October, to gather ideas.
- We have assembled a small group of community members to help plan and assist in getting the message out prior to our March 3, 2020, bond referendum.
- We have contracted with W.A. Klinger to serve as our Construction Management team.
- We will be acquiring signatures for the bond petition prior to January 13, 2020.
- We will work with our community team to communicate inform the public regarding the project throughout January and February 2020.
- The bond referendum will be held on March 3, 2020.
- Immediately following a successful vote, detailed site and building plans will be developed. Ideally, site work will begin in the Fall of 2020.
- Our plan is to occupy the new school building by August of 2023 at the very latest. We will work for a faster timeline if possible.