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Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Board still mulling project options

Monday, November 12, 2007

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.


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Putting sixth graders back in elementary school would be a huge mistake. Kids are older and more mature in sixth grade than they used to be, and putting these kids back in the same building with kindergarteners will stunt their emotional growth. Not to mention the academic opportunities that are offered at North Clay but can't be offered in elementary. Leave them alone.

-- Posted by Bruther on Mon, Nov 12, 2007, at 11:26 PM

Forget about the $15M proposal and get this entire project underway as soon as possible. I understand the debt but our community needs this upgrade to our schools. This would not only benefit our students but would be a big selling point to attract business and industry to our community.

Don't let this become another argument that lasts for years they way getting the new high schools built dragged out. If you think $53M is an astronomical sum to do the renovations now then drag this out for a few years and see what the cost will be then

-- Posted by Gizmo on Tue, Nov 13, 2007, at 10:47 AM

I am all for education and updated facilities, but one thing is for sure...our county taxpayers cannot afford a heavier burden! I just paid a property tax bill that totaled a few dollars shy of $4,000 and don't wish higher taxes on anyone. Yes, major rennovations could possibly attract more business and industry to our community, but what good will business be if Clay County is reduced to a virtual ghost town because people have moved away because they couldn't afford to pay the taxes to keep their homes? Why not look into the possibly of redistricting and entertaining the idea of building a newer, larger elementary school to house the combined enrollment of two or three old buildings? Why does our county need seven elementary buildings, all but one in dire need of repair/expansion? Note to Bruther: Clay City Elementary has sixth graders in the same building as kindergarten students, and I highly doubt their emotional growth is stunted. Did you forget there are students in the south end of the county? There are also taxpayers in the Clay City area, so it's not all about academic opportunities at North Clay. It seems to me this project should be about how to keep our schools in working condition by doing whatever can be done to keep the price tag affordable. Personally, I'd rather see money spent to support the present programs of the schools so that students didn't have to stand on the corner of 59 and 40 begging for money on a Saturday morning.

-- Posted by Bigpappy on Tue, Nov 13, 2007, at 10:39 PM

To Running:

The article above did not discuss Clay City. I was referring to the part where it says:

"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."

Apparently the author of the article also "forgot" there are students in the south end of the county.

-- Posted by Bruther on Wed, Nov 14, 2007, at 10:52 PM


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