Denver Schools’ plan to improve safety for students and staff
DENVER, IOWA — The Denver Community School District’s Phase II of a project to address its facility and capacity needs would also improve safety and security if approved by voters on Tuesday, March 3.

The question on the ballot will propose an $18 million project, with $7.75 million in General Obligation bonds for a new middle school/high school addition to the existing Cyclone Center. Approving the project would not increase property tax rates.

Safety features incorporated into Phase II include door fobs that expand the building’s existing systems to track all entrances, along with a front-door entrance sequence through which visitors will be buzzed in and required to check into one main front office before proceeding to any other areas. There would also be cameras to capture all areas of the building. These features keep student and staff safety as the priority while also allowing community access to the Cyclone Center to continue unaffected.

Additionally, there would be a slow-speed pickup and drop-off area off city streets, a separation of the bus drop-off area from the parent and student entrance area and the ability to lock off areas of the school for events.

“We must always be proactive in taking the steps necessary to protect the safety and security of our students, staff and families on a daily basis,” said Brad Laures, DCSD Superintendent. “As we have planned for Phase II, we have been able to incorporate a number of cutting-edge security features that will ensure school safety both in the short term and in the years to come. This will become even more important as our enrollment continues to rise.”

DCSD’s enrollment is up 5 percent in the past school year alone, and it has jumped 15.3 percent over the past five years. District projections indicate nearly 100 more students attending the district’s schools by September 2022.

The DCSD Board of Education was able to keep the tax levy for Phase I—the Cyclone Center—at $2.70 per every $1,000 of assessed property value. If approved in March, the current $2.70 tax levy approved for the Cyclone Center would be extended for six more years (from 2036 to 2042).

In addition to the GO Bonds, Phase II would be funded through $7 million in state penny sales tax funds, $2.1 million in Physical Plant & Equipment Levy (PPEL) and SAVE cash and $1.5 million through PPEL funds.

To learn more about Phase II and the question on the ballot for the March 3 special election, visit https://www.dcsdplanning.org.
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