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Friday, May 6, 2016

An analysis of current CCS proposal

Sunday, February 3, 2008

East Side Elementary would receive the largest addition, 15,000 square feet, if the proposed renovation project is passed. All seven county elementary schools would have additions or renovations under the project.
After months of debating, researching and downsizing, the Clay Community School Corporation has a renovation project to present to the community.

The project proposal approved by the school board Jan. 28 will renovate seven elementary schools in the corporation, and add security measures to all 10 buildings.

A one-time bond issue of $26,035,000, paid over an eight-and-a-half-year term, will cost $31,115,000 to repay but not affect the debt service tax rate.

Because of the need to have flexibility in bids, in the resolution prepared for the 1028 preliminary determination hearing Feb. 18, there will not be a specific cost assigned to each building.

General plans for renovation have been established for each elementary school building, based on needs established by building committees, architects and Director of Buildings and Grounds Tom Reberger.

All of the elementary schools were built between 1954 and 1965, and only Jackson Township Elementary School has received major renovations in recent years.

Three elementary schools will have new construction on their buildings along with reconfiguration of current space.

East Side Elementary School will have 15,000 square feet of new construction added to the existing building. Within that space, three academic classrooms, an art room, a music room and expansion to the gym, cafeteria and kitchen will be housed.

In the current structure, the lighting system, mechanical system, electrical service, plumbing, bathroom fixtures and fire alarms will all be updated.

Exterior walls, foundation and masonry will be repaired, and the roof will be replaced with improved insulation.

Many of the existing building renovations are similar for all elementary schools.

Outside of the building, the playground will be improved and areas for parking and bus drop off will be expanded.

Meridian Elementary will add 12,000 square feet of new space, including two academic classrooms, student restrooms, expanded cafeteria, gym and kitchen and an elevator for Americans with Disabilities Act access.

The existing building and exterior will receive similar upgrades to the East Side project.

Staunton Elementary is the third school that can expect new construction. Schmidt Associates architects estimate 14,000 square feet of new space will be needed to replace the metal building on the property where classes take place now.

The space will create five new classrooms, new art and music rooms, a new cafeteria and extended storage.

Staunton will receive all of the updates to the existing building that Meridian and East Side are looking at, including a security vestibule and re-worked administrative space that will be included in all buildings.

Many of the elementary schools have spaces that are not functional for the way schools are used today.

Forest Park Elementary will not be adding on any square feet, but the cafeteria and kitchen will be relocated within the current structure so the gym can be used more for physical education.

Forest Park will also see a new roof put on the building and replacement of some of the original doors and fixtures in the building.

Just like the other elementary schools, Forest Park will have electrical and plumbing upgrades, an improved parking lot and masonry repair.

Because Van Buren Elementary was used as a high school facility for many years, there are parts of the building that are not currently being used. The art and music rooms will be expanded so the space can be used.

Through the years, Van Buren has been slowly settling into the foundation, but through the renovation the problem should be fixed, according to the proposal.

Electrical, lighting, plumbing and masonry upgrades will be done, as well as window replacements on the 1970's addition to the building.

Clay City and Jackson Township Elementary Schools need the least work of all the buildings.

Clay City can expect the security upgrade, roof repairs and replacement, upgraded plumbing and masonry and some carpet replacement.

Site work will be done to improved drainage around the building and parking.

Jackson Township, where renovations were completed in fall 2002, needs to be put on a forced main to the sewer. Currently, the building is on a septic system.

Some of the masonry on the building has been damaged by moisture, so they will be repaired along with completing window replacement that was started during the last project.

Jackson Township has an administrative area visible to the entrance of the building, so no modifications will need to be made to the office.

Included in the price of the project is security upgrades for the buildings not receiving renovations.

This will include better-locking doors, security vestibules and other measures.

The scope of the project does not include any work on a transportation facility or central office building.

The board will present the project to the community at a preliminary determination hearing Monday, Feb. 18, 6 p.m., at North Clay Middle School.

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So, NCMS and NHS get nothing out of this???

-- Posted by madmom61 on Mon, Feb 4, 2008, at 8:39 AM

Please note in the second paragraph of this article that all 10 schools will have security measures added. What else does NCMS and NHS need? I'm pretty sure they are the newest two buildings in the Corporation.

-- Posted by Bigpappy on Mon, Feb 4, 2008, at 2:46 PM

This sounds like a very downsized proposal from the original....much more in line with reality. I feel the central office is adequate for now. I have been in that building several times in the last few years and a good clean out and organization would do a world of good there. They need to address the transportation facility as soon as possible. There are way too many busses and other vehicles for the SMALL garage they have now.

-- Posted by Gizmo on Mon, Feb 4, 2008, at 4:01 PM

Yes, it said all 10 buildings will get something but then if you read the list, nothing is mentioned about these two buildings. I think a bit more security might be in order at NCMS seeing as how the students are not allowed in the bathrooms due to security reasons. And yesterday I walked right in the high school and nobody stopped me or asked what I was doing in there. So maybe they could use a bit more security as well

-- Posted by madmom61 on Tue, Feb 5, 2008, at 7:44 AM

Madmom61: I'm just curious as to what you've heard at the project meetings you've attended concerning security updates for the schools. What has been discussed at those meetings?

As I read the Times article, I see where some specifics are mentioned about security at some of the buildings. Please also note the information given in paragraph 17: "including a security vestibule and reworked administrative space that will be included in ALL BUILDINGS." All buildings refers to all ten buildings in our corporation. Wouldn't that also include NCMS and NHS?

Concerning your comment about walking right in the high school without being stopped, I'm not sure what else they can do right now short of hiring an armed guard to stand at the one unlocked dooor.

I believe the corporation is working on the security situation the best way it can given the funds it has at the present time. What else do you propose be done to make the schools safer?

-- Posted by Bigpappy on Tue, Feb 5, 2008, at 10:47 AM

One unlocked door? NO... I guess that one unlocked door to be the one in the cafeteria?

Or perhaps the one into the band room from the front of the school? Which one unlocked door is supposed to be the designated one???

I want security cameras installed or something done to make it "safe" so my daughter can go to the bathroom!

And yes, I have been to meetings.. 2 of them ( I know that is not a lot) and most of that time was wasted talk about bus garages and central offices.

-- Posted by madmom61 on Tue, Feb 5, 2008, at 11:19 AM

and as for hiring an armed guard to be at the door.... ok! Let's send out the apps and hire them! I doubt that will get many upset. We want safe schools!!!

-- Posted by madmom61 on Tue, Feb 5, 2008, at 11:55 AM

I believe that there is recent legislation that allows schools to form their own "police departments." This wouldn't have to be anything fancy, but the kids will be more apt to listen to a police officer than a security guard. It may cost $100,000 or so to get a couple of officers hired, trained, and equipped but after the initial expense it could be far less after that.

-- Posted by snow on Tue, Feb 5, 2008, at 12:33 PM

I stand corrected concerning my "unlocked door" comment. It was my understanding that all school buildings were to have all outside doors locked except for one. Perhaps this should be addressed to your school board members and superintendent. I thought for sure I read/heard that all buildings were to operate under this procedure. I do know that teachers where modulars are on site were given keys to access the main building. Perhaps some buildings aren't operating as instructed, or else those with modulars have gone a step beyond. Why not call Central Office and get a clarification on this? It seems to me that one unlocked door would greatly tighten security. No, it's not perfect by any means, but one can only do so much. Security guards/police officers would help so why not ask for that when you make the calls to the Board and the superintendent? Then, why not address the fact students at North Clay are not allowed to use the bathrooms? So, let me get this correct: Students' bathrooms are off limits during school hours? It amazes me that parents haven't stormed Central Office over this! If I had a child denied access to the bathroom all day long, I know I'd camp out on the doorstep at CO until that got corrected. Plus, I'd be calling each and every Board member several times a day until it got taken care of. I've never heard of such a thing.

-- Posted by Bigpappy on Tue, Feb 5, 2008, at 1:44 PM

I have called NCMS adim only to be sent to voicemail and never recieved a callback. I have called CO and was sent to voicemail and never got a call back. I have emailed; school board members via website, CO, and NCMS Admin, only to have all emails returned as undeliverable. I have called Dr Sueellen Reed and no response.

I am not the only parent angry by this. I would go camp out there at the school but I have to work to provide a bathroom my child can USE!!!!

I have been told by my daughter as well as other children that the student body was told during an annoucement that the bathrooms were not a priority.

I understand they are GREATLY hampered by these recent bomb threats. I understand that safety is of the upmost importance. I just do not understand why some items are across the board and others are hit and miss.

If I can be supplied with a means to call school board members I will do so. I dont want to be just a voice... I want to be part of the solution

-- Posted by madmom61 on Tue, Feb 5, 2008, at 2:30 PM

I have a job that has given me the ability to visit all of our 10 schools. During these endeavors, I am always astounded by the fact that I can walk in and go to any area of any school. I believe that all schools must be equipped with a vestibule that keeps all visitors contained until their identity is acknowledged and then allowed entrance. I have visited other counties where their schools are equipped like this or with a camera mounted outside with doors locked until an office staff can see who is coming in. I think it is imperative that we tighten up security at all of our schools.

I also find it unbelievable that NCMS is being led by a napolean like dictator who feels the need to control his school by witholding bathroom breaks. I intend to take this up with the state to see if this practice is acceptable.

-- Posted by cubbiefan on Tue, Feb 5, 2008, at 3:02 PM

Perhaps the school corporation system sends email to the "junk" file via filtering. Have you called the home numbers of the Board members listed on the Corp. website? The one occasion I found a need to contact Board members was a simple procedure of calling them at their home. Of course, I would strongly encourage you to begin with your member representative and the members at large. I'm also surprised parents have not contacted their local news agencies about this (WTWO and News Ten). They might find it interesting you've had no response from anyone concerning the bathroom issue. It's worth a try.

-- Posted by Bigpappy on Tue, Feb 5, 2008, at 3:11 PM

The problem could probably be solved if a teacher would monitor the restrooms or the hallways in front of the restrooms during passing periods. The teachers won't be doing this however, I was told that their new contract doesn't require them to do this and they won't do it on their own or the school officials won't ask them to do it.

-- Posted by snow on Wed, Feb 6, 2008, at 6:47 AM

It is my understanding that the students are allowed and encouraged to use the restrooms during their passing periods, but many choose not to and prefer to leave during their 40 minute instructional class time. I'm pretty sure allowing students out of the classroom and in the hallways/restrooms without supervision would be undesireable and definitely unsafe for a good number of reasons. As far as teachers monitoring the hallways/restrooms, the teachers are often assisting individual students before and after class, so it's pretty hard for them to be in two places at once. In all honesty, it's probably a lot more fun for the students to talk with their friends during passing time than it is to use the restroom. Then, when the urge strikes and the students want to leave class, placing blame on the system is much easier than accepting it. I know for a fact that at least four of the Board members have students in NCMS and/or NHS, so why not seek them out after the next Board meeting and ask them what their child is sharing with them about the bathroom problem?

-- Posted by Bigpappy on Wed, Feb 6, 2008, at 12:05 PM

Guess the admin listened. Dr Allen announced that he was tired of the calls from parents and bathrooms are open with teacher discretion.

Thanks for the help R O E

-- Posted by madmom61 on Thu, Feb 7, 2008, at 8:52 AM

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