Although the Clay Community School Board of Trustees unanimously approved the feasibility study and execution of the lease for the proposed building project, it may not have had the full support of all board members.
No discussion was held prior to the vote during Tuesday's meeting, but board member Forrest Buell provided some opposition even though he approved the resolution as well.
"I received information about Clarion hospital postponing their project because of the economy," he said after the vote. "I would also like for this new board to consider this and put the project on hold for six months. To determine the immediate need for the elementary schools and for a better plan on spending tax payer money."
With the approval of the board, Brad Bingham from Barnes and Thornburgh believes the bonds to pay for the building project will be issued "sometime in the middle of the summer."
Another topic, which was shown to have immediate need, was the facility maintenance building and a long-range solution for the transportation bus garage complex. Even though the vote was split 4-3, the proposal passed. Building and Grounds Director Tom Reberger commented on people becoming confused between the two topics.
"We are dealing with two separate issues," Reberger said. "The facility maintenance building and the transportation bus maintenance garage."
Reberger went on to explain how the demolition of the creamery building created need because even though the trailer, which currently sits on the location, houses the transportation dispatch offices, there is no longer a facility maintenance building.
"Non one has ever asked where did the facility maintenance operation go," he said. "We literally have parts and supplies and equipment in four different places and the only practical, immediately accessible, location for our repair shop was to move to the bus body shop bay."
One of the problems with the facility maintenance operation being housed in the bus body shop bay is the lack of space that Transportation Director Frank Misner and his employees need to make repairs and paint jobs on the buses.
"I am offended, we are part of the school corporation," Misner said. "But no one cares about us unless a bus goes into a ditch or there are leaks in a building or there is no electricity. Then we are called."
Reberger explained how there is equipment and supplies that require heated storage in the bay, they are trying to do equipment repair work in the limited space of the shop with Misner's men, there is also no computer access or phone for communication.
The property that Reberger suggested purchasing is located at 236 N. Depot St., which would cost $69,000 and taken out of the capital projects fund.
"It is an economical solution for the immediate facility maintenance operation, which will give the bus garage body shop back to the transportation department," Reberger said. "We will be able to get more of our regularly used parts, supplies and equipment, items currently stored at Van Buren will need to be moved to when the renovation project begins and it will always be a need for economical storage space in the future."
Misner echoed Reberger's comments and added a few of his own.
"Tom needs this space, this building is right across the street," Misner said. "It doesn't matter where the bus barn goes, the space is still needed and will be used."
Board member Tina Heffner and President Brain Atkinson voiced concern with the cost and the long-term use of the building.
Atkinson, Heffner and Jennifer Kaelber were opposed to the buy, Buell, Dottie King, Terry Barr and Ted Jackson voted for the purchase.
The next regular session school board meeting will be Thursday, March 12, at 7:30 p.m., in the media center of North Clay Middle School.