Skip navigation
Innovative Education
5Theme-based magnet schools
West Willow exterior 1

“The Why” Behind the Facilities Master Plan

CRCSD is eager to deliver on its promise of Every Learner. Future Ready. It is evolving its teaching practices, workforce, and facilities to most effectively meet the needs of our 21st century learners. While CRCSD will always honor the past, it is important to plan for the future in a progressive and fiscally-responsible manner.

After Many Years, It’s Time

  • Most CRCSD school buildings were built before the 1950s, and some are more than 100 years old
    • Older compartmentalized designs don’t support open, collaborative learning
    • Repairs and maintenance are expensive on older buildings
    • ADA compliance is not being met
  • It’s been 22 years since CRCSD has asked the community for a bond vote
    • Surrounding school districts have benefited from several successful bond votes over the same time period
    • Cedar Rapids students should have the same opportunities as their surrounding area peers

CRCSD Needs to Catch Up

  • CRCSD kids deserve the best facilities to prepare them for the future so they can be competitive as they move forward and seek career readiness
  • Extracurricular and activities spaces are not currently equivalent to the surrounding school districts

Enrollment Assessments Affect Change

  • Facilities decisions are based on enrollment data within geographic areas
    • Uneven enrollment in certain schools does not align with best practices. For example, the cost per student in a small CRCSD school is $11,000 versus a larger CRCSD school where it is $7,000 per student*
    • Projected capacity can determine the best fiscal use of existing or potentially-new facilities

Progress Supports CR Economic Development

  • New school facilities help drive businesses and families to the Cedar Rapids community
  • A modern school district creates economic appeal

CRCSD’s goals regarding the historical component of the Facilities Master Plan

Recognize the need for future-ready facilities, honor the stories of the past, and collaborate with the community throughout the process.

SchoolRecognize the limitations of buildings that were built in the 1950s, and some more than 100 years ago. All were originally designed with a compartmentalization concept versus future-ready collaboration learning areas. The many non-ADA compliant spaces were not designed for all-inclusive learners. With enrollment fluctuations, CRCSD seeks to utilize the best plan for facilities in the context of fiscal responsibility. For example, a small CRCSD elementary school has a $11,000 cost per pupil versus a larger, four-section CRCSD building that has a $7,000 cost per pupil allocation.*

StarHonor that we have historic buildings that capture stories from our community. Within the framework of a future-ready vision and the need for fiscal responsibility, seek potential opportunities to capture certain historic elements when applicable or repurpose a facility. While honoring the past, also provide data and information to the public about the additional costs associated with repair, maintenance and ADA compliance in older facilities.

PeopleCollaborate with the community to participate in the planning stages, and ensure that accurate information is disseminated. CRCSD will hear all perspectives: those who want state-of-the art facilities, those who want fiscal responsibility through modern-day facility usage, and those who want to preserve the past. Updates, meeting notices, presentations and more information are found on the crschools.us website under Future Ready Facilities.


*Based on fiscal year 2020-2021 data.
The following expense categories were used:

  • instruction/support
  • building repair/maintenance
  • custodial staffing/supplies
  • utilities
  • meals staffing/supplies

An operational cost per student comparison was conducted:

  • Madison Elementary (enrollment 185)
    • Cost per student: $11,092
  • Viola Gibson Elementary (enrollment 510)
    • Cost per student: $7,721

Facilities Master Plan Funding Sources

Different “buckets” help build the future.

Buckets Help Build the Future