- Associated Press - Saturday, May 7, 2016

DAVENPORT, Iowa (AP) - Davenport Community School District officials are soliciting agencies to rent space on the first floor of J.B. Young K-8 School in Davenport.

This is the last year the building will serve as a school, the Quad-City Times reported (https://bit.ly/1WQPB7y ) Saturday. The district plans to establish an Opportunity Center in the building, constructed in 1919.

District administrative offices - now located at in the Achievement Service Center - will fill the second and third floors of J.B. Young.

Letters of interest will be taken until June 15 at the superintendent’s office. The letters will be evaluated in July, and discussion with agencies is to begin tenancy in August.

The first floor space includes a gym and stage area, cafeteria and kitchen, library, offices and six classrooms.

Officials have estimated that closing the school will save the district $1.5 million, but some have opposed the closure, including school board member Clyde Mayfield.

Mayfield says the closure will erode the district in the central-city area and predicted it will have a negative effect on Central High School.

“No matter what we offer, do we fulfill what the children need?” Mayfield asked. “We may offer a basketball court, food panties, other amenities, but not academics - what the kids need most.”

District spokeswoman Dawn Saul said officials intend for the building to be used for community service and that ideas were offered during three sessions held in February.

Those ideas included a summer camp for academics and audio and video work, wellness classes and a meal site to enlarge an existing site at the nearby Madison Elementary School.

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Information from: Quad-City Times, https://www.qctimes.com

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