Two figures involved in the project and the request shared their very different opinions and ideas with The Brazil Times.
Tom Reberger, Director of Buildings and Grounds for the corporation, was extremely disappointed that the remonstrance request was filed, and called it "delaying the inevitable."
Leo Southworth, a candidate for School Board and the filer of the request, feels the school board could have looked at more options before going through with a project.
"It's frustrating to me in this job, but it's also frustrating to me as a parent, a grandparent and a taxpayer that this money is going to pay interest instead of going to the kids," Reberger said about the bond money that would now most likely need to be used to pay capitalized interest.
Because of the timeline the school board set up for the project, if bonds are not sold by the end of 2008, tax money cannot be collected to pay capitalized interest in 2009.
This means, if the project does gain community support, an estimated $800,000-$1,000,000 will be taken out of the bonded money to pay the interest.
Reberger said the appropriation of that money for interest payments means the physical project will need to be scaled back.
When asked what could be accomplished with that amount of money, Reberger said it could be used to do all of the Americans with Disabilities Act upgrades the schools need, replace all existing computers in the elementary schools, upgrade library technology, replace dated kitchen equipment, cover most of the re-roofing costs or implement the planned security measures in all schools.
Southworth, on the other hand, believes finding the true opinion of the community is worth delay or withdrawal of the project.
"My goal is to find out the opinion of the community as a whole to get our schools fixed. It all belongs to the community, and the community needs to make the decision. Personally, I believe we need to get the best value for our money," Southworth said.
As an example of a better value, Southworth suggests combining Meridian Elementary and East Side Elementary in one new building, and using the current East Side property for the administrative building and bus garage.
"All buildings will need to be replaced, and if we don't replace them cyclically, future generations will have to replace them all at once," he said.
Southworth and Reberger also disagree about the cost of the project has been represented.
"I don't see the 'hard cost' and 'soft cost' split. All I see is total," Southworth said. "If this is business as usual, I don't believe in business as usual."
But Reberger compared the different type of costs associated with the project to a new house, saying you cannot include furniture as part of a home mortgage. Furniture is part of the soft costs of the project, along with interest and architect fees.
He also added the soft costs will be the first place where cuts in the project would be made.
Reberger was mostly disappointed about the delay in the project because he felt the corporation had followed every recommendation from the state and other corporations.
"It was a cook book project … we followed the recipe," he said.
But Southworth feels the project plan could be more beneficial for the entire community.
"I don't feel the plan the school board has come up with is good for the community. They are spending too much for too little value," he said.
In the end, the Clay County voters will determine the fate of the project by choosing which opinion, and which petition, they will add their name to.