An outcry of public concern over a $53 million renovation project proposal has the Clay Community School Board looking for options to update the school buildings.
Members of the board have met with a group of citizens who put together a $15 million plan and answered questions from the Farm Bureau board.
Len Fischer, a member of the school board, attended a meeting on Nov. 5 with the Farm Bureau board to look over the $15 million proposal.
According to Walt Moore, who has been speaking on behalf of the group behind the proposal, the meeting was very productive.
The Bureau members asked many questions about the new ideas, as well as where the school board stands on the project.
Moore said, from his observations, the school board was interested in a less-expensive project.
"I don't know which way the board may go, but I probably won't support a $53 million bond," Fischer said.
Fischer also said he was concerned the $15 million proposal would not cover enough renovations to keep some of the elementary schools in working condition.
Also, within the citizens' proposal is a suggestion to move the sixth grade back into the elementary schools.
Fischer said the addition of all-day kindergarten takes up the room in buildings where sixth grade would be, and the renovation of the elementary schools would need to be much greater to accommodate another grade.
"I think $15 million is a better place to start with than $53 million," Fischer said.
Fischer indicated the school board is discussing having another public input meeting at the end of November or in early December.
He said the progress in contract negotiations with the teachers would allow the renovation project to "pick up steam."
The school board and the group of citizens have been addressing the Farm Bureau because of its very public denouncement of the original renovation proposal.
The corporation's Business Manager Mike Fowler was unavailable for comment before press time.