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Marion Independent Pays $700,000 for the Marion Kirkwood Center

The Marion Independent School District recently bought the Marion Kirkwood Center in an effort to meet the demand of an increasing student population.

The may be moving to the current site of the Kirkwood Marion Center.

At the latest Marion Independent School Board meeting, the board approved a purchase of the building for $700,000.

Brian Bartz, business manager of the Marion Independent School District, said the purchase was made to accommodate an increase in the student population.

Additionally, he noted that the , unlike Emerson Elementary School, is not landlocked, allowing for additions in the future.

President of Kirkwood Community College, Mick Starcevich, said that programming in the Kirkwood Marion Center will end in January of 2013, at which time Starcevich said the classes will resume at the Kirkwood Regional Center.

Bartz said that elementary students will move into the new facility once Kirkwood vacates the property and the building is remodeled, which he estimates will take place in two to three years.

The Kirkwood Regional Center doesn’t exist yet. Recently, Kirkwood Community College bought the old Transamerica building on Boison Road in Cedar Rapids for $5.7 million. They plan to remodel the building and turn it into a high school career academy and a continuing education center for adults.

He said anywhere from seven to 11 area high schools will take part in programming in the center, including the and .

Bartz said the purchase is a win-win for both schools. Marion Independent gains a new building and a new academy for their brightest students.

"What The Kirkwood Regional Center does is provide opportunities for our K-12 students to sample a variety of career choices and get college credit," Bartz said.

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