COUNCIL BLUFFS — Students and parents got a look inside the Council Bluffs Community School District’s Madison Campus at Mall of the Bluffs during a back-to-school orientation session last week.

The former Target building was transformed into a learning space that will house Kirn Middle School for the 2019-20 school year and Wilson Middle School the following year during each school’s renovation period.

Classes start Tuesday morning in the district, and the orientation was Thursday night.

As officials promised, the space looks like a school, not a retail area, after renovation that was estimated to cost $6.25 million. The space was purchased for $1.9 million.

The school now includes 49 classrooms, a dining area (with food brought from Abraham Lincoln High School), a media room, two multipurpose spaces, three music rooms, two art rooms, restrooms, an office suite with a conference room, a nurse’s office, a teacher’s lounge, a security office with a safety vestibule and emergency exits.

Students will do without some of the things they are used to. There will not be lockers or locker rooms with gym showers. Students will have to carry their backpacks with them and won’t change for physical education at the campus.

Sports practices and games have been moved to other locations.

Access to public mall areas was walled off. The Target closed in 2009 when a new store was built at Metro Crossing.

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