Liberty High School hosts grand opening

The newest school to join the Iowa City Community School District hosted its grand opening Saturday, Aug. 12, 2017.

For nearly a half-century, the Iowa City Community School District has had only two comprehensive high schools.

Iowa City High, home of the Little Hawks, and Iowa City West, home of the Trojans, have been those two schools since 1968.

While the rivalry hasn't gone stale, a new school may be sending a jolt through the district.

Liberty High School -- home of the lightning -- will become the third primary high school in the district as the 2017-18 academic year kicks off.

The first public high school to be built from scratch in eastern Iowa in more than three decades, Liberty took several years -- from planning to building -- and $75 million to erect.

Liberty will serve 700 students in year one, most of which attended North Central Junior High, and would have attended West.

District leaders said City High and West High were at 130 percent capacity last year, and Liberty should provide much needed alleviation.

Further, Superintendent Stephen Murley said the addition of a school brings additional opportunities.

"There are three leads in the school play," said Murley. "There are three firsts in the debate team. There are three starting point guards. There are three starting quarterbacks for the football team."

The school is expected to reach more than 1,000 students by year three.

Depending on the September 12 bond referendum vote, the school could fit as many as 1,500 students (if the bond is approved).

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