The verdict is in, and the Clay Community School Board has some tough decisions to make.
During a special session with the board on Tuesday, the results of an analysis on the condition of local school facilities, the bus/maintenance facility and the administration facility were presented by architect Tom Ness from Schmidt Associates.
All Clay County Elementary schools, Clay City, Eastside, Forest Park, Jackson Township, Meridian, Staunton and Van Buren, along with Clay City High School, North Clay Middle School and Northview High School, were analyzed for maintenance and renovation needs.
Needs were also analyzed for the transportation facility and administrative buildings.
"Our analysis had a simple premise," Ness said. "We went into this asking, 'What do you have, not what do you need,' and this allowed us to get a more complete view of what the board should shoot for."
"Starting with an analysis is better than starting with a plan, plans change. Changes force budgets to waver, take from here to give to there," Ness continued. "This is an estimate of what needs to be done, and now the board can make a plan of action."
A criteria was set, based on how schools in the area met several needs, educational needs, space, modular usage, growth and other issues. North Clay, Northview and Jackson Township fared the best, with Meridian and Eastside needing the most improvements. The maintenance building, also needs a complete overhaul, or a new facility, as does the administrative building.
The transportation facility is not operating effectively at its current location, it is falling down, and needs more space.
The administrative facility suffers from the same problems, and it was recommended that both facilities be replaced. The cost of repairing, with inflation and future space needs would be a liability to the board.
The estimated total for the school board to remedy these problems, is $52,839,859.
There will be a regular session of the school board today at 7:30 in the North Clay Middle School media center. The public is invited to attend.