Construction could begin as early as November on an addition to Peosta Elementary School, after the Western Dubuque School Board approved a contract with Neumann Monson Architects at its regular meeting Sept. 9.

Enrollment continues to grow along the Highway 20 corridor of the district, with district officials continuing to see increased enrollment at Peosta Elementary.

Preliminary plans call for an addition of up to six classrooms with possibly one swing classroom.

Bob Hingtgen, director of maintenance and transportation for the district, said the plans will bring the building up to a three-section building.

“It will make it a three-section pre-K to fifth-grade building and will complete our program of putting all fifth grades back into their buildings. With the growth we’ve seen at Peosta, we figure we better have a couple of swing rooms. We have some pretty full three sections already.”

Superintendent Rick Colpitts said district officials are still determining the final number of classrooms. “We’re looking at six, but four is minimal for what we need. We don’t know for sure yet what we will end up with. We will continue to study that before we make a final decision, but it looks like six.”

Early cost estimates put the price tag for the addition between $1.5 to $2 million. Colpitts said district SAVE dollars will pay for the project.

Hingtgen said construction could begin yet this fall. “We are hoping to expedite things and start in November if the weather holds. We could get some work done and get it enclosed where the crews could work through the winter, hopefully allowing us to open for the next fall.”

If the weather doesn’t cooperate, Hingtgen said it will be later in the fall of 2020 for the project to be finished. “But the kids will all be there, so we will move in as soon as it’s ready,” he said. “Right now we are taking other rooms that used to be computer labs and art rooms and making them classrooms.”

Colpitts said with continued growth in the district, there is no telling how long the addition will meet the needs of the district.

“I’d be guessing, but in the end, we think this is probably going to be the last addition at Peosta Elementary,” Colpitts explained. “At that campus, a full three-section elementary school Pre-K to five is about as many as we would want to put on that campus site. I don’t think the capacity of the grounds is there to hold the kids, there aren’t the acres necessary to keep a playground intact. We would have to look at other alternatives, potentially looking at a fifth-sixth-grade building.”