A non-evidentiary telephone hearing took place regarding the closing of Shelby Building in the AHST District. Legal arguments were made pertinent to Appellee's Motion to Dismiss. The District presently operates three attendance centers. The middle school at Shelby, Iowa, houses sixth through eighth grades.
The District began studying facility useage in September 2001. A comprehensive history of the building closure issue was prepared for the local Board's August 18, 2003 meeting. The motion indicated that the closing could occur, "as soon as the fall of 2005, but the actual date at the discretion of the school board and administration." No timely-filed appeal was received by the State Board of the August 18, 2003, decision.
The Motion to Dismiss attacks Appellant's affidavit of appeal as untimely. The District does not dispute that the affidavit was filed within 30 days of the February 21, 2005, meeting. However, the District does not concede that any board decision was made at the February meeting. Appellant argues that the Motion to Dismiss is technically flawed because the District filed an Answer prior to filing its Motion.
The AHST Board's decision that the middle school building would close was clear. The closure decision was final as of August 18, 2003. However, there was not a complete absence of an appealable decision at the February 2005 meeting. The Board left the exact timing of the building closure to a later decision of the Board. Because the Motion left the timing "at the discretion of the school board and the administration," patrons of the District could fairly rely upon there being a subsequent board decision to the timing of the closure.
Appellee's Motion is Dismiss is denied but only to the extent that Appellant may proceed with her appeal as to the timing of the closure, not the actual closure of the building.