Ottumwa Schools’ Construction Trade looks to get partnership from local business

Updated: May. 24, 2021 at 9:33 PM CDT
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OTTUMWA, Iowa (KYOU) - A new Ottumwa School program will build a house a year with potential funding from large businesses in the community. The new program is called “Construction Trades”. It’s a partnership between Ottumwa Schools and Indian Hills. The program will see juniors and seniors putting up a house over the course of a school year. The site is on a school-owned lot just north of Liberty Elementary.

They plan to break ground in July, and get subcontractors in for electrical, plumbing, and basement work. But Jon Dorman, who heads the program at Indian Hills’ Centerville Campus, says he still wants the students to be as much a part of this as possible. “This is what they’re learning. That’s the whole goal of this. But we have to think about that deadline as well.” Possible, but unconfirmed partners could be JBS, Rippling Waters Development, and the Legacy Foundation. The district will know for sure by June. Superintendent Mike McGrory says getting those locked down looks promising.

JBS also was at the meeting to present $250,000 to the district. That money goes directly to school media centers, theaters, gyms, and band uniforms.

And Superintendent Mike McGrory was surprised last Thursday morning to hear Governor Reynolds’ announcement of dropping mask mandates. He says the plan had been for schools to continue on with masks through the end of the year. “But the Governor mandated that all schools drop their mask policy. It was kinda happened Wednesday night and it started the next day. So there wasn’t a lot of time to react to it.”

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