As spring approaches and the winter frost (hopefully) begins to thaw, let’s take a look at some of the developments that are making Osceola a great place to live this spring.

southern iowa business and community growthA great future starts with young people, and the kids at Clarke Community Schools are on the path to success. Clarke Schools are excelling in caliber of both curriculum and staff.

The Career Academy program, launching in 2017, allows students to choose courses that align with their career choice as early as eighth grade. The program prepares students for the real world by providing job site experience through collaboration with local businesses. Early alignment of curriculum and students’ career choices should guide students to greater success when it comes time for them to find a job.

Last December Clarke Schools demonstrated their appreciation for one of their stellar staff members by awarding Michelle Lee with the Golden Apple Award. The Middle and High School math teacher received an unprecedented amount of nominations for the award, demonstrating the inspiring (and record-setting) spirit of both Clarke teachers and students.

In 2015 the Safe Routes to School initiative widened sidewalks to provide our students with a safe path to school. After the success of the initiative, the Osceola Health and Wellness Committee is continuing to make wellness a priority in 2016 starting with school programs. Some new programs under consideration include the introduction of new fruits and vegetables in elementary schools, a renewable energy greenhouse at the high school level, and a “health university” with nutrition classes open to the public.

Preceding the city’s push for wellness, the Clarke County Hospital began its $22-million-dollar renovation in 2013. The first phase of construction, which will result in a new addition, is scheduled to finish this May. The addition to the hospital will accommodate more patients and practitioners, offering improved exam and treatment rooms for our residents and hospital staff. The second phase of construction, starting this fall, will renovate and update the existing hospital.

With so many positive developments in our community, Osceola is sure to grow. Last November the city received an upgraded bond rating to supplement our growth. The upgrade means the city can fund improvements to infrastructure at a lower interested rate, potentially saving residents thousands in tax dollars. This will allow Osceola to take on new construction and bring in new business.

With an excellent school system, top-notch facilities to care for our residents, and best of all the means for continued growth—Osceola’s future is shining bright. We hope you can get out there and enjoy your blooming community this spring.

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