School Board Changes Agenda

So many options with little to no consensus. The future for Bryant Elementary has been blurry for months now, and after the Sioux City School Board's work session Wednesday, it looks like it will remain out of focus for months to come.

"We didn't resolve everything today, although we didn't really expect to solve everything today, we asked the board to give us our next steps. What is it were going to be doing moving forward," said Sioux City Superintendent of Schools Paul Gausman.

Earlier this year, the City Council made it clear it wouldn't give up part of Leif Erickson Park for a new school. But the school board today kept the idea on the table, even as the superintendent said he's ready to move on.

"I am not attempting in any way to engage in that conversation with the City Council any further. If the community does that, it appears as though the board has given them time to do so, if they don't do that, we have moved beyond that and our plans that we presented this morning do not include the park," he said.

Board members suggested polling the community, to gauge support for a school at Leif Erickson. But City Manager Paul Eckert says a poll won't change anything.

"It's important that the residents understand that the council makes decisions not based on polls but on their interaction and overall dialogue and analysis on what's best for the whole community," he said.

With Bryant Elementary still much in the discussion phase, school officials have now decided to move forward with their plans to tear down Washington Elementary to build an entirely new building.

The school would be torn down in 2013. Students would go to Joy or Longfellow Elementary during construction. Needless to say, the principal at Washington is very excited.

"One of the big things, especially this time of year is that the buildings are very hot, so air conditioning will be one of the top things that they will be excited about. But then also the possibility for increased tech. and just different classroom setup, and to have a new building to be very proud of," said Principal Dawn Stansbury.

The official green light for construction on Washington will be given as soon as June and school officials say they will come back together for another work session in late September or early October to hopefully hash out further details about the future of Bryant Elementary.