OTTUMWA — Sending nearly half of Ottumwa's kids to Liberty Elementary School was just part of the plan for elementary attendance on the south side.
On Monday, the school board will see the other part of the plan: reconstruction of Douma Elementary School. Board meeting time and location have changed. At 5:30 p.m., the board will visit the Douma construction site. Then at 6:30 p.m., they'll have their regular board meeting at Liberty Elementary School, room 128.
Liberty is only for students in second through fifth grades. After that, they head to the middle school. Before they even get to Liberty, students on the south side will attend Douma for two years.
It was over this past school year, said Superintendent Davis Eidahl, while the first group of Liberty kids were in class, that contractors were busy preparing the south side's kindergarten to first-grade building.
The project's manager said that the outside structure was in good shape, including bricks and roof.
“Our work will be done inside,” Eidahl said. “We will be replacing floors, partitions, ceilings, mechanicals, the kitchen, [do some] reconfiguring for [compliance with] the Americans with Disabilities Act.”
Turning it into, essentially, a new school was a nearly $5 million job. It will still be called Douma Elementary School. An actual new school building, like the 100,000-square-foot Liberty, costs around $12 million.
"We will open Douma back up August 2014 for those K-1 students,” Eidahl estimated. "We are on track, maybe even a little ahead of schedule. They're putting paint on right now."
— News reporter Mark Newman is on Twitter @couriermark