The Riceville Community District is considering the construction of a possible recreation center to help increase academic instruction time for junior high students as well as address the need for additional practice space.

Depending on which design size and location is chosen, the estimated cost for the project ranges from $1.8 - $3.5 million.

A public meeting was held last month for community input for possible options of a Riceville Community School District Recreation Center.

Those attending had the opportunity to view options, discuss possible locations, community use and view preliminary exterior designs with Emergent Architecture of Cedar Falls.

For the past 1½ years, the Riceville School Board along with members of its buildings and grounds committee have been discussing the need for additional space for district needs. In addition, committee members recognized there were very limited indoor recreation space for the community of Riceville.

“We are looking at a facility which will serve a dual purpose,” said Riceville Superintendent Barb Schwamann. “The District is need of additional court space. We are currently having middle school athletic practices during the last period of the day, which is having a negative effect on student education.

“We are looking at ways to make positive change for the education of our students as well as meet a need in the Riceville community.”

In addition to court space, there would be weight lifting and exercise equipment available.

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The two locations being considered for the facility would either be on the north side of the high school or on the east side of the school. Both would be connected to the building with an enclosed corridor.

In addition, the proposals included both being built with either one or two basketball courts as well as lines for volleyball courts, seating for about 300 people, a weight room and restrooms. 

The proposed structure would be a pre-engineered metal building with a low-sloping roof with some translucent material to allow for natural lighting.

Schwamman said there is no specific time line or specific cost associated with the project, at this time. However, the cost of the project would be covered by the PPEL (Physical Plant and Equipment) Levy fund as well as SAVE (Secure Advance Vision Education) funds.

“This is not a project that would be paid for through the general fund,” Schwamman said. “And it will not be funded by a bond referendum.

During their July meeting, the Riceville School Board will make the decision whether to move forward with the project. If so, board members will then determine the site and estimated cost.

Construction could begin as early as this fall.

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