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Information and Q&A
 Q&A (PDF document)

The CCA Board invited participation in a facility study committee in September of 2003. The Board also interviewed educational planners and selected one firm to facilitate the study phase.

The committee began work in April of 2004 and was charged with two tasks:

  1. to determine how to best utilize existing sites and structures and
  2. to develop recommendations to address both short and long term facility needs.

Multiple options and scenarios were considered by the facility committee and the administration during the eighteen month planning process. As part of the study, technical assistance was provided from several consultants:

  • educational planning provided by Shive-Hattery, an architectural, engineering,& consulting firm;
  • demographic studies provided by the University of Iowa, Department of Geography, and
  • financial analysis provided by the Iowa Association of School Boards and Piper Jaffray Consulting.

This review of school building capacity, student enrollment changes, and anticipated future needs resulted in the development of a 10-year facilities plan. The plan is divided into two phases for implementation. Phase One addresses projected needs through 2010 and Phase Two addresses projected needs through 2015

At the Board’s request, representatives of the facility committee assisted in holding five community forums to share the recommendations from the committee and to ask for feed back on the proposed plan. In addition to the community forums in Amana, Cosgrove, North Liberty, Tiffin and Oxford, information was shared at the October meetings of the Amana Society Board, the Tiffin and Oxford City Councils, and with the City Manager in Coralville and the City Administrator in North Liberty.

Special thanks go to Mr. Ross Stuedemann for facilitating the community forums and to the committee members who worked to develop the facility plan. These members included Jim Bartels, Kelly Beckler, John Burzacott, Matthew Croco, TJ Croco, Jeanne Goldsmith, Lisa Green-Douglass, Brad Hahn, Paul Rogers, Susan Schwartz-Rogers, Julie Rohret, Stephanie Rourke, Eileen Schmidt, Linda Schreiber, Kim Schulte, Bev Seelman, Ross Stuedemann, and Yvette Yansky.

What is the Preliminary Project Budget?
Newly added Question/Answer (February 9, 2006)

Construction Cost High School Elementary Renov./Site
Site Preparation/Acquisition $ 1,060,000 $ 950,000 $ 800,000
Building Construction      
$ 6,180,000 $2,475,000  
$ 2,120,000 $ 900,000  
$ 1,060,000 $ 450,000  
$ 2,120,000 $ 900,000  
$ 530,000 $ 225,000  
Fire Protection
$ 530,000 $ 225,000  
Construction Subtotal $13,600,000 $6,125,000 $ 800,000
Other Costs:      
See explanation below $ 3,400,000 $1,375,000 $ 200,000
PROJECT TOTAL $17,000,000 $7,500,000 $1,000,000
The “Other Costs” category includes other anticipated costs related to a project of this nature. This are project-related expenditures such as: planning, design, and construction contingencies, construction cost escalation, basic design fees, geotechnical and subsurface investigation, geothermal test well and analysis, topographic surveys, life cycle cost analysis for HVAC systems, detailed cost estimates, document printing and plotting, permit fees, mileage and travel reimbursements, bid and public hearing publication costs, utility connection charges, acoustical or special consultant services, construction testing and staking, special inspections, building commissioning, groundbreaking and dedication events, commemorative plaques, extranet site costs, special working conditions, temporary facilities, and other costs identified during the planning stages of the project.


Many questions were asked during the community meetings. The following information is intended to provide a summary of the committee considerations, recommendations and responses to these questions.

(Key Components)




Build a New High School in Tiffin
-600 student capacity
-106,000 square feet

  • about 30 classrooms;
  • about 10 specialized classrooms for art, vocal and instrumental music, vocational education and instructional enrichment;
  • competition sized gym and PE space
  • media center with technology labs and conference rooms;
  • multi-purpose/cafeteria; kitchen and food storage area;
  • mechanical and engineering space; restrooms;
  • hallways; and office space (secretary, principal, counselor, teacher work area, nurse, activities, AEA support staff).

-on district owned land (55 acres) west of current high school
-designed for future expansion


Relocate the Middle School to the Existing High School
-400 student capacity
-83,600 square feet
-remove four temporary, portable classrooms



Maintain Amana Elementary in Middle Amana
-350 student capacity
-50 to 75 daycare/preschool students
-49,680 Sq. Ft. with swimming pool and locker rooms in existing middle school
-22,320 Sq. Ft. in elementary
-remove four temporary, portable classrooms

Maintain Clear Creek Elementary in Oxford
-300 student capacity
-18 to 36 preschool children
-45,000 square feet
-remove eight temporary, portable classrooms

Build a New Elementary
-300 to 350 student capacity
-42,000 to 45,000 square feet

  • 16- 20 classrooms
  • specialized classrooms (media, art, vocal, band, special education, talented and gifted, reading)
  • Gym/multipurpose/cafeteria
  • Kitchen and food storage areas
  • Office space (secretary, principal, counselor, nurse, AEA support staff)
  • Teacher work area
  • Restrooms, hallways, mechanical and engineering space

-on land to be acquired in a growth area of the district
-designed for future expansion

Why did the committee recommend building a new elementary and a new high school?

District enrollment has increased from 1223 student in 2001 to 1425 students in 2005 (an increase of about 4% per year or just over 16% in the past four years.

Incoming kindergarten classes have been consistently larger in size than graduating classes which will continue to impact district enrollment growth.

Housing development is continuing within the district boundaries. As a result, the enrollment is projected to continue to increase. If the enrollment continues to grow at about four percent per year, the district will have over 1,700 students by 2010. Even if the growth rate slows to two percent per year, the district is estimated to have about 1,600 students by 2010 and an enrollment over 5000 students when the known developments are completed.

These projections are based on information obtained from the cities within the district’s boundaries and include developments already in the planning stage.

  • Amana: potential for a new housing development exists, no additional students are included in this projection
  • Camp Cardinal/Clear Creek Development: 1,000 dwelling units with 452 projected additional students
  • City of Coralville 1998 Land Use Plan, West Coralville: 2,656 dwelling units with 1,200 projected additional students
  • City of North Liberty: 3,000 dwelling units with 1,356 projected additional students
  • City of Oxford: potential for a new housing development exists, no additional students are included in this projection
  • City of Tiffin: 500 dwelling units with 226 projected additional students

Why did the committee recommend building a new elementary and a new high school?

  • CCA is out of classroom space in the elementary, middle school and high school, necessitating expansion plans at all three levels.
  • Maintaining a quality education is dependent upon adequate classroom space and the ability to expand available programs and services.
  • Without additional space there is no place for new or innovative programs.
  • Class sizes will need to be increased and/or the district will need to purchase additional temporary/ portable classrooms.
  • This school year, the district is using 16 temporary/portable classrooms located outside of the primary building structures. These classrooms provide additional classroom space for about 300 students.
  • Temporary/portable classrooms are expensive to acquire (about $50,000 per classroom), relatively energy inefficient, and have a shorter useful life when compared with permanent structures. Additionally, temporary/portable classrooms add safety and management concerns given the relative isolation from the main building.
  • The lunchroom/multipurpose areas in all three centers are overcrowded. Lack of adequate lunchroom seating means some students begin eating lunch as early as 10:30 AM and the last students finish as late as 1:30 PM. The increased number of lunch shifts has resulted in fewer minutes for each lunch period which reduces the time students have to eat.
  • The kitchen/ serving area is too small for the number of meals that must be prepared.
  • Co-location of the middle school and high school allows for potential efficiencies such as shared teachers, staff and administration, and consolidated transportation for families and the school.

Where will the new buildings be located?

  • The district acquired 55 acres of land west of the current high school in 2002. This land can be used to build a new high school without needing to move the existing track and football field, etc. The site also provides space for future building expansion and for additional recreation/athletic field development as needed.
  • The proposed bond referendum includes funds to acquire additional land for an elementary school in a growth area of the district. Unless the bond issue is successful, the district does not have funds to purchase additional land.

Why can’t all of the new buildings be built on the land the district already owns in Tiffin?

  • In researching land needed for school sites, the facility committee was advised to allow for about 50 acres of land for a high school and about 40 acres of land for a middle school.
  • The school site in Tiffin currently has 90 acres and some of the 90 acres are contained in a flood plain.
  • While additional buildings could be built on this site, the committee anticipated the future growth and expansion would require most of the available land just to house a middle school and a high school.
  • As a means of comparison, the committee discovered that the College Community campus contains about 200 acres.

What other options did the committee consider?
Multiple remodeling and building scenarios were extensively reviewed with the goal of the best district-wide plan. These options can be summarized in three major areas:

  • Build all schools on a single campus. While the efficiencies gained from one campus were noted, this concept was quickly rejected because all of the current buildings are usable school sites and the district will need all of the current space plus any new buildings just to house the anticipated student growth. Additionally, with the district spread out over 162 square miles, the committee expressed an interest in developing attendance centers that would reduce the amount of time students spent on buses for elementary-aged students. The committee strongly recommended that the district add a new building for elementary students toward the eastern side of the district while keeping the elementary centers in Oxford and Amana. This would allow the district to provide general neighborhood schools for the youngest children.
  • Expand existing schools. Expansion of each of the current district sites was considered as discussed below:

    Clear Creek Amana High School

    -CCAHS has about 470 students and has an ideal capacity of about 400. This site is using (4) four temporary/portable classrooms.
    -The high school has had the fastest growth over the past four years, increasing from 313 students in 2001 or a 50% increase. At this rate of growth, the high school facility needs additional classrooms, larger rooms for programs such as vocal and instrumental band, a competition sized gym, space for PE classes and extra curricular activities, additional lunchroom and commons space, additional staff work areas, additional parking spaces, etc.
    -The committee also considered the site challenges that exist for a major addition of this size and the unknown time table for possible expansion of Ireland Avenue on the east and an additional lane on Highway 6 to the north.
    -Even with a major addition and renovation, the district is projected to outgrow this size high school within a few years.
    -This building could be used to address the need for additional middle school students without an addition or major renovation.
    -The committee also considered using the existing HS as an elementary, but recognized the expense that would be involved to convert this building to usable space for elementary-aged students (i.e. restrooms, door handles, Kdg. classrooms, etc.).
    -These factors and the recognition that building a new high school would provide a state of the art facility that could be used by all of the CCA students and serve as a source of pride for the entire district, resulted in a committee recommendation to build a new high school rather than add onto the current building.

    CCA Middle School

    -CCAMS shares the building with Amana Elementary (145 students in Amana Elementary and 330 students in CCA Middle School). The 475 students put this building over capacity by about 75 to 100 students. The district already has (4) four temporary/portable classrooms in use at this site.
    -With the middle school enrollment projected to increase to about 400 students within the next five years, there is a need for additional middle school classroom space and a need for larger rooms for programs such as vocal and instrumental band, additional gym space for PE classes and extra curricular activities, additional lunchroom space, parking space, etc.
    -Expanding the current middle school to meet the projected growth needs did not appear to be as cost effective as moving to a usable building that would need only minor renovations.

    Amana Elementary

    -Amana Elementary, in Middle Amana, has about 145 students and demographic projections indicate that this number is likely to remain stable over the next several years. As a result, this site will be used for Amana elementary students and it is anticipated that some or all of the district’s upper elementary students will attend Amana Elementary in the future. Ideally, the district would house no more than 300 students at Clear Creek Elementary in Oxford, 300 to 350 students at a new elementary, and another 350 elementary students in Amana Elementary in Middle Amana. This site will provide much needed classroom space as the elementary-aged population in the district is anticipated to reach 1,000 students by 2015.

    Clear Creek Elementary

    -Clear Creek Elementary, in Oxford, has about 475 students and is already using (8) eight temporary/portable classrooms. While expanded space is necessary, students do not have adequate playground space and there is no additional land to expand the existing building. For these reasons, the committee did not recommend a building addition at this site. The committee further recommended that the temporary/portable buildings be removed to increase the green space available.

  • Build an additional K-8 building. In this scenario, the committee considered keeping the current Amana site as a K-8 school and building a new K-8 school in the eastern part of the district. A new K-8 school would help address the increased elementary school and middle school enrollment. However, two sites for only 400 middle school students would create complications for staffing the instructional programs, co-curricular and extra-curricular activities. The committee felt middle school students could be better served at this time in a central location.

Doesn’t the district need more time to study this issue?

  • The facility committee spent eighteen months studying the district’s facility needs and issues. Experts in the areas of school planning, school finance and community demographics assisted the committee as they studied the short and long term facility needs of the district.
  • With the current use of (16) sixteen temporary/portable classroom buildings and projections of continued growth, the committee recommended the board move forward, further delay will result in additional crowding in the schools.
  • Our project would not begin until 2007 and it is likely that construction costs will continue to rise. For example, Solon completed an 88,000 square foot high school for $10 million or about $114 per square foot four year ago. Mount Vernon began the construction process of a 93,000 square foot high school last year with a project budget of $12 million or about $120 per square foot. With the increased costs of construction, the committee was concerned about costing the tax payer even more if the bond issue is delayed.

Won’t the Amana and Oxford sites be under utilized in the future?

  • Even if the bond referendum passes in February, new buildings will not be open until the fall of 2008. All sites will continue to be crowded until new space can be added.
  • Utilizing available classroom spaces in the Oxford and Amana buildings will allow the district to maintain smaller elementary class sizes.
  • Following the recommended plan, the district hopes to remove the temporary/portable buildings from all sites. The ability to do so will depend on the rate of student population growth. This would leave room for about 300-350 students in the new elementary, about 300 students at Clear Creek Elementary and about 350 to 400 students at Amana Elementary. Several of the temporary/portable structures in the district are nearing the end of their usefulness as classroom space and will need to be demolished or sold. This will improve the quality of classroom space for the district’s students but will reduce available classroom space for about 300 students.
  • From 2010 through 2015 the district is projected to grow from 800 K-5 students to just under 1,000 K-5 students. These numbers are based on projections at the same rate of growth the district has experienced during the past five years. Utilizing the available space in Amana Elementary, Clear Creek Elementary and a new elementary would allow the district enough space for about 1,000 elementary students. These projections do not include space for the existing preschools at both CCE and AE.
  • The district anticipates the continued need for space for preschool programs in all elementary sites. The State Department of Education is advocating for all schools in the state to establish programs for four year old children. While this is not a requirement at this time, it is likely that legislation will be passed in the next few years that add this additional population to schools. If this becomes a requirement for our schools, the elementary space is projected to fill up prior to 2015.
  • Projections are just that; however, using the best information available today, the growth in the district is occurring at a rate that it seems unlikely that any of the district sites will be under utilized in the future. The district will need the existing elementary buildings in Amana, Oxford and a new building to accommodate the estimated number of projected students.

Will the new buildings be big enough?

  • The new high school and the new elementary building will be designed to allow future expansion up to 1,200 students in the high school and up to 450 students in the new elementary school. These additions are proposed in phase two of the facility plan which is estimated for implementation between 2010 and 2015.
  • The district does not have adequate bonding capacity to build all of the projected space at one time. The committee recommended increasing property taxes only to the level required to accommodate enrollment in the first phase of the facility plan.

What will happen to the ECHO building at the high school campus?

  • The ECHO building is currently being used for a combination of alternative programs and regular classes and will continue to be used for high school programs over the next few years.
  • The State Department of Education is encouraging all high schools to consider a variety of curricular and program improvements. In our district, a team of staff has volunteered to study the best use of the high school programs and facilities, including the ECHO building. This study could lead to recommendations to change the use of the ECHO building in the future.

How do I know that the district will use the bond funds to construct new buildings as stated on the ballot questions?

  • With a successful bond referendum vote, the district will ask the facility committee to form a citizen’s taskforce to oversee the project planning and construction, including the expenditure of the bond proceeds.
  • This task force will work with the district and report to the community during the duration of the facility plan implementation.

When will the recommended plan be completed?

  • Detailed building specifications will be developed from March through September 2006. This phase of the planning will include community input to finalize building specifications and features.
  • Bids would be taken in late fall 2006 with construction scheduled to begin in the spring of 2007.
  • Construction would be completed in time for a fall opening of the elementary and high school building in the 2008/2009 school year.

Will any of the bond proceeds be used to pay for additional teachers and staff?

  • By state law, the bond proceeds cannot be used to pay for teacher or staff salaries.
  • The district will need to fund additional staff for new buildings from general fund revenues.
  • In Iowa, schools receive a basic allocation for each resident student; therefore, as the district’s enrollment increases, additional dollars are also available to pay for additional staff that would be required in a new school. The district will likely continue to add staff over the next few years in preparation for the opening of new buildings.

How will we pay for the recommended facility plan?

  • The public may vote on February 14, 2006 to support or decline the sale of general obligation bonds to finance the proposed facility plan.
  • General obligation bonds are repaid through property taxes on all residential, agricultural and commercial property, including property contained in Tax Increment Finance (TIF) districts.

Are there any additional revenue sources?

  • The district will apply for state grant funds that are available on a competitive basis for $500,000. These funds are contingent upon a successful application and matching funds from general obligation bonds.
  • The Cities of Coralville, Tiffin and North Liberty have expressed an interest in cooperating with the district to build new schools. If voters approve this bond referendum, there is potential for some contribution from one or more of the cities to provide for an expanded gym or multipurpose area to be used for before and after daycare programs and/or assistance in acquiring or developing the school site.
  • Iowa County residents passed the optional tax for school infrastructure in June, 2005. The district will receive the first payment in February 28, 2006. The Iowa Department of Revenue estimates tax collections for this school year at $76,000 in the CCA district. This revenue will continue for a ten year period and is projected at an annual rate of $180,000, beginning July 1, 2006. The district has not made a specific commitment of these funds although they voted last spring to prioritize roof repair and replacement.
  • Johnson County residents have not voted on an optional tax for school infrastructure.

What effect does a TIF district (Tax Increment Financing District) have on the bond?

  • TIF districts pay property taxes on all school bond issues.

What is the life of the bond issue to finance these facility improvements?

  • Twenty years.

How much will the recommended plan cost?

  • The facility plan recommends a new high school, a new elementary, the purchase of land and site improvements at a cost of ($25.5 M) twenty five million five hundred thousand dollars.
  • The estimated school property tax rate increase is $2.20 per $1,000 assessed valuation.

How much will my property taxes increase as a result of this school bond issue?

  • The estimated school property tax rate increase in fiscal year 2006 related to the bond issue is zero.
  • The estimated school property tax rate increase in fiscal year 2007 related to the bond issue is $2.20 per $1000 assessed valuation.
  • For a home assessed at a value of $100,000, homeowners currently pay taxes on 47.9642% of the assessed value. The district does not anticipate selling bonds until fiscal year 2007. Homeowners will pay taxes on 45.9960% of the assessed value in 2007, or an increase of $88.24 ($7.35 per month or 20 cents per day).
  • For 80 acres of farmland in Iowa County, fiscal year 2007 taxes are estimated at an annual increase of $127.18 ($10.60 per month or 29.43 cents per day).
  • For 80 acres of farmland in Johnson County, fiscal year 2007 taxes are estimated at an annual increase of $122.45 ($10.20 per month or 28.34 cents per day).

Is the market value of my home the same as the assessed value and is the assessed value the same as the taxable value?

  • The market value of a home is based on what it would sell for in the current real estate market, which is a supply-demand market. Assessed value, however, is not the same as market value. The assessed value of your home is determined by the county assessor and is calculated on several factors, including comparison of like properties, location and condition.
  • The calculation of your property taxes is based on the taxable value. For homeowners in the state of Iowa, the taxable value is currently lower than the assessed value. This difference is due to a rollback factor. The rollback factor is a percentage determined by the state to apply to the assessed value of all property to come up with the taxable value. The rollback factor for residential property is currently 47.9642%. This rollback factor has been adjusted for fiscal year 2007 to 45.9960% of the assessed value of the property.

Will property taxes to repay the bonds stay the same for each taxpayer over the twenty year life of the bonds?

  • If property valuations continue to grow throughout the school district each year, the tax levy will typically decrease. The district may also have the potential to refinance the bonds to shorten the length of the bond term to less than twenty years, thus reducing the total property tax paid by an individual tax payer.
  • The district’s assessed valuation has increased an average of 5.8 % per year since 1994.

Will my taxes go up by $4.05/$1000?

  • No
  • The second ballot question sets the cap that the district could charge for general obligation bonds at the $4.05 limit as contained in Iowa Code; however, this bond issue is estimated to increase taxes at $2.20 per $1000 dollars of valuation.
  • The actual cost to property owners is about $7.35 per month for a $100,000 home owner.

Will taxpayers throughout the district pay the same amount of property tax to support the construction of new buildings?

  • The assessed valuation will be at $2.20 per $1000 dollars for all taxpayers in the CCA district.
  • While the school portion of the tax bill is the same for all taxpayers, the total tax bill will vary depending on the taxes assessed by other entities such as counties, cities and townships.
  • A chart of the current tax assessments for homeowners is included below.

    this information was obtained from Iowa County and Johnson County.

    view chart for Iowa County Taxes assessed 2004 revised 1/18/06

    view chart for Johnson County Taxes assessed 2004 revised 1/18/06

How does the CCA district compare to other districts in Iowa and Johnson County on the amount of income surtax?

          view chart comparing school surtax

How does the property tax rate in Clear Creek Amana (CCA) compare with other area/conference schools?

  • The tax rate in CCA is compared to area and conference schools listed below.
  • The tax rate is among the lower tax rates in surrounding schools at this time; with the projected increase, it would compare with other schools that have recently built a new high school.
  • This information can be found on the Iowa Association of School Boards web site at:

    view chart comparing school property tax

When will we vote in this election?
The election date is February 14, 2006.

How can I vote?

  • Vote early: Iowa County Auditor’s Office, weekdays, Jan. 27-Feb. 13, 8:00 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. or Johnson County Auditor’s Office, weekdays, Jan. 17- Feb. 13, 8:00 a.m.- 6:00 p.m.
  • Request an absentee ballot by Friday, February 10th at 5 p.m. and return or postmark by Monday February 13th at 5 p.m.
  • Satellite Voting: CCA High School from 3 p.m. to 9 p.m. on Friday, January 27th or 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., Saturday, January 28th
  • Vote on Election Day, Tuesday, February 14th, at your poll location for school elections: Clear Creek Amana Middle School; North Liberty Community Center;
    Oxford City Hall; St. Peter’s Hall, Cosgrove; Tiffin Fire Station; or Western Hills Community Center

Can new voters register for this election?

Can I vote by absentee ballot?

  • Yes. Friday, February 10th, 5 p.m.: Deadline to request a mailed absentee ballot
  • All voters in the Clear Creek Amana school district wishing to vote by mail must request their ballots from the Johnson County Auditor. This includes voters in Iowa County. . Ballots may also be requested online at:

What will the ballot look like?

  • Ballot Question One:
    Shall the Board of Directors of the Clear Creek Amana Community School District in the Counties of Johnson and Iowa, State of Iowa, be authorized to contract indebtedness and issue General Obligation Bonds in an amount not to exceed $25,500,000 to provide funds to build and furnish a new Elementary School building and a new High School building, and to purchase and improve sites?
  • Ballot Question Two:
    Shall the Board of Directors of the Clear Creek Amana Community School District in the Counties of Johnson and Iowa, State of Iowa, be authorized to levy annually a tax exceeding two dollars and seventy cents per thousand dollars, but not exceeding four dollars and five cents per thousand dollars of the assessed value of the taxable property within said school corporation to pay the principal of and interest on bondedIndebtedness of said school corporation, approval of this proposition shall not limit the source of payment of the bonds and interest, but shall only operate to restrict the amount of bonds which may be issued?

Why are there two questions on the ballot?

  • Question one sets a $25.5 M. limit on the value of general obligation bonds that can be sold to fund the proposed construction projects.
  • Question two provides the authority for the school district to levy property taxes to repay the bonds. The district already has a levy of $1.20 from prior bonds. The existing levy plus the proposed levy may exceed the state maximum of $2.70 for general obligation bonds. A school district can only exceed the $2.70 levy limit by asking for voter approval. For this reason, the second ballot question is needed. Taxes will not increase by $4.05; the levy increase is estimated at $2.20/ $1000 of tax valuation.

What percentage of the vote is needed for this issue to pass?

  • 60% or a supermajority is required on BALLOT QUESTION ONE.
  • 60% majority is required on BALLOT QUESTION TWO.

If you have additional questions or comments, please contact the school district office at 319.828.4510. New questions will be added to this document as they are received and published on this web page.