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Clinton High School breaks ground on new academic building

The $66.8 million project is expected to be completed by fall of 2025

CLINTON, Iowa — It’s the start of a new chapter for Clinton High School. School and city officials held a ground-breaking ceremony Monday for the massive construction project that will create a brand new space for students.

The $66.8 million-dollar project will be fully completed by fall of 2025. The first step was to build a new parking lot, which has already been completed. 

The groundbreaking ceremony held was for the academic building. It will be three stories tall and hold about 75% of the schools academic programming. That building is expected to be completed by winter of 2022. 

Superintendent Gary DeLacy says there’s a lot of buzz about the next chapter. “If we design it the way that is intended kids will be like wow this doesn't even feel like a school. I can’t believe this is where I’m going to get to go to school.”

Students will stay on campus for the entirety of the project. They will go to the classes in the current building right next to the construction site of the new academic building until that 2022 finish date. 

At that point students will shift buildings for class, and the current academic building will be mostly demolished. The gym and pool will stay intact with everything else going. “You'll have that two-and-a-half-year dance of construction going on and we're still conducting business here.”

The buildings that will go in the same spot the current academic building is located will include a technology education center, a performing and fine arts center, and a commons area that will connect it all together. “It will be close to a four-year process to get that all taken care of.”

The community of Clinton overwhelming supported the project, voting for a bond referendum back in March of 2020. More than 74% of people who voted were in favor of the project, with those bonds paying for about $38.7 million dollars of the project. 

Superintendent DeLacy saying, “With COVID the cost came in just a little higher than predicted, but not at a point that we felt we couldn’t move forward.”

It’s not just a win for the students and staff either. Mayor Scott Maddaison says it’s something he hopes will draw families to the area for years to come. “It’s huge for economic development. One of the first questions that a site selector or someone coming in is they want to know what the schools look like. It’s just going to be huge to be able to show that off as folks are looking to come to our community.”

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