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IVCCD announces bond issue next steps

Iowa Valley Community College District (IVCCD) Chancellor Dr. Kristie Fisher has announced some guiding principles and next steps regarding the District’s plans for the $32 million bond referendum approved by voters on Nov. 5. The funds will be used for improvements on the Ellsworth Community College (Iowa Falls), Marshalltown Community College and Iowa Valley Grinnell campuses.

“The support of our voters was overwhelming and we deeply appreciate their confidence in Iowa Valley, Marshalltown Community College, and Ellsworth Community College,” says Dr. Fisher. “We also appreciated the hundreds of conversations with voters throughout the fall election season. The conversations helped us learn more about community needs and how we can engage in meaningful ways.

“To ensure that we are good stewards of taxpayer dollars, our early efforts include the establishment of some guiding principles regarding the use of our general obligation bond funds. These principles were endorsed by the IVCCD Board of Directors last month and have been shared with all of our employees.”

  • We will take a districtwide approach to planning and executing the bond issue projects on our three campuses over a three-year to four-year timeframe.
  • We will prioritize timing for projects based on needs and an understanding of our contingencies.
  • We will manage the multiple construction projects to ensure that we receive quality work for a fair price, and that we have the capacity to oversee the projects.
  • We will minimize to the greatest extent possible any disruption to teaching, learning, and serving our communities.

The District has issued a request for proposals in search of an architectural firm to oversee the bond issue projects. Dr. Fisher told employees that several firms have asked for the opportunity to be considered, and that the District will seek a firm with the capacity to handle multiple projects on multiple campuses over a relatively short (3-4 years) period of time. She said key factors will include a firm’s proven track record for doing quality work, providing cost-effective solutions, and experience with projects in an educational setting. Iowa Valley intends to name a design firm at the February Board meeting.

Additional steps in the process

  • Prepare a certified FY21 budget to be approved by the IVCCD Board of Directors in March 2020. The certified budget will include the portion of general obligation bond revenues to be spent in the coming fiscal year, which is the first step toward accessing and spending the bond issue funds.
  • Hire a Construction Manager, a short-term position that was built into the bond issue budget, to oversee all construction projects. In collaboration with IVCCD leadership and the architects, the construction manager will focus on the quality, timeliness and cost-effectiveness of the construction projects.
  • Establish a districtwide Bond Advisory Committee with representation from across the District. This committee will provide feedback on color schemes, standardized furnishings, and other issues as appropriate to ensure continuity and cost efficiency.

“Much like our athletic teams, we will have key players from within our own organization fulfilling important roles in this process so we can be successful,” says Dr. Fisher. “We plan to take full advantage of our in-house financial expertise, facilities expertise, programming expertise, and compliance expertise. We’re excited about the next steps, and we are committed to keeping our internal and external stakeholders informed as we proceed.”

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