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Survey results favor action on South Tama Middle School building

November 22, 2019
By John Speer - Editor ( , Toledo Chronicle, Tama News-Herald

South Tama School District residents who answered an online survey offered from Oct. 28 - Nov. 8 favor the response "the middle school facility needs must be addressed now." A total of 508 responses were received, with just over 87 percent of the total saying they "strongly agree" or "agree" with the statement.

The finding was among the results reviewed Monday night, Nov. 18, by Jerry Gallagher, project manager for the Donovan Group, for the South Tama School Board at its regular meeting. The Donovan Group, is a Cedar Falls-based communications firm hired by the school board to assist in determining the course to take concerning the middle school building in Toledo.

School board members are now looking to a Dec. 2 school board meeting set for the Little Theatre at the High School to accommodate public interest. Then, Invision Architects are expected to make a recommendation on site and costs. The firm was also hired as consultants on the middle school study.

Article Photos

Consultant Jerry Gallagher gives details to the South Tama School Board and officials of a survey conducted by The Donovan Group which found agreement among school district patrons action is needed concerning the middle school building in Toledo. News-Herald/John Speer

To place a bond issue for a new school on the ballot on March 3, 2020, petitions bearing 25 percent of the total vote in the Nov. 5 school board election must be received by the school board. The issue must be submitted by Jan. 17 by the school board to qualify for the March election date.

The 104-year-old middle school main building has a classroom addition and a gymnasium including a lunchroom and classrooms addition both built in the early and mid 1950s.

The survey broke out a "comparison group" totaling 180 respondents among the entire group of 508 respondents. These comparison group members indicated having no school age children or grandchildren and are not current school district employees. This group may have had children attend South Tama schools in the past. (Their responses are included in the first numbers and stand alone in the second set for each question.)

Fact Box

The complete survey results may be found at:

Given options the two groups responded that they favor:

Place a new middle school on the land adjacent to the current high school and middle school- 51.66 % 44.10%

place a new middle school o n the ground where the old Iowa Juvenile Home exists- 17.84% 23.6%

the school board should select a home for the new middle school that represents the best financial option regardless of location- 325.10% 22.98%

I believe the school board should look into placing a new middle school at another location- 5.39% 9.32%

"I Would vote yes for a new middle school if the tax impact was $6 or less per month ($72 or less per year on a $50,000 home and $12 or less per month ($144 or less per year) on a $100,000 home

Strongly agree

42.91% 29.44%


34.06% 31.11%


8.46% 10.00%

Response to the survey came from:

Overall Control Group

Chelsea 6.10% 7.78%

Montour 3.15% 6.67%

Meskwaki Settlement 1.18% 1.11%

Tama 42.13% 26.11%

Toledo 41.54% 53.89%

Vining 1.18% 2.22%

Other 4.72% 2.22%



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