School Board Discusses Dows, Goldfield Buildings’ Future

Brickwork at the soon-to-be Clarion-Goldfield-Dows Elementary building.

At their April 14 meeting, the Clarion-Goldfield-Dows Transition Board approved the closure of Dows Elementary School, enabling discussions to move forward on the building and land’s future.

Dr. Robert Olson, Superintendent, said that a buyer is interested in the building itself. Previously, the Board had agreed to maintain the building for two years, to allow members of the community time to find a new use for it. Olson noted that during the last year, it cost $50,000 to heat the building in the winter with propane. Prior to proceeding, Ames Environmental Inc. will look into the asbestos in the building. If the building is sold, it will be on the condition that it be well-maintained.

Olson also stated that the City of Dows was interested in taking ownership of the school’s playground as a park. He further described some confusion as to ownership of the Dows Football Field, stemming from rumors that the field was donated by Dr. Lawrence Olsen and supposed to revert to his family if the school no longer had a use for it. Research was done on documentation pre-dating Dows’ incorporation in the mid-1800s, and it was found that “money was exchanged [when the land was conveyed] and there was no stipulation” on the district selling the field.

Olson also discussed upcoming meetings with Prairie Lakes AEA and several area districts that may see Goldfield’s former school building become an area center for special education for students with behavioral disorders.

The Board further discussed three potential start dates for the upcoming school year: Early, Traditional, and Late (Aug 12, Aug 19, and Sept 2, respectively). The Traditional start date is the week after the end of the Iowa State Fair. Without air conditioning, board member Beth Severson noted, a late start would make classrooms more bearable. After much discussion, the Board decided to solicit input from teachers and other district employees before officially approving the schedule at a special meeting to be held April 21.

The Board also set the next meeting for May 12 at 6:00 p.m., at which there will be a hearing for the Dows building’s land sale.

Find out more about the Clarion-Goldfield-Dows Transition Board’s other decisions and debates on school year start times, as well as Clarion-Goldfield’s new de-humidifiers and planned parking lot construction in the April 17 issue!