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Monday, May 2, 2016

School board passes building study, lease

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

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.

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Yes, and a couple of months down the road we will have another emergency situation, the Central Office, because these people fail to plan! These were the critical buildings all along and should have been addressed first and in the most cost-effective fashion!

-- Posted by Leo L. Southworth on Wed, Feb 18, 2009, at 12:10 AM

Just more of the same in this community...whether we're talking about schools, roads, water lines, you name any infrastructure issue you choose, lets wait until we have to do something before we choose to do something. I'm not in favor of building for the sake of building something new, but obviously this is not the case here.

Frank Misner and his crew are almost there own worst enemy, because of the great work they have done in the past and continue to do, their needs (facility-wise) have always been pushed to the back burner. And it's sad too, because in relative dollars, it really wouldn't take much to rectify their problem.

-- Posted by ClayCountyGuy on Wed, Feb 18, 2009, at 7:37 AM

While I am in agreement with the transportation/maintenance concerns and needs, I am really opposed to the corporation wide spending on the various others buildings when our neighbor Vigo county has done a study first to see if all of their buildings are truly being fully used. If Vigo can recommend the closing of schools due to lack of population growth and budget constraints, why aren't we doing the same? Vigo is a lot more economically healthy than we are. Where do we think we are going to get the money to pay those bonds or even support them? Time we started to pay for what we can afford, not what our children are going to have to pay for [with a substandard education if we don't make right choices now]later.

We ourselves did this study years ago and it was shown that we are spending money on buildings that are underused while we could have reshifted school district boundaries and gotten rid of Knightsville offices and used Eastside for those, the LEEAP center and what is now the Cumberland Academy. Instead we bought the Hooks drug store and built the Cumberland Academy. Sure it is nice to have a school one could walk to but I challenge that desire with budget limits and the fact that most of the county school children are already bussed farther than those who go to school in the city and that, nor the fact that they may have to switch schools is going to do any damage to any child. Children adapt well to changing schools with only adjustment time that can be measured in weeks. It is the parents who seem to be the ones who would rather pay for something that is a desire and not a real need and the board continues to not be willing to address the need to cut building maintenance and administrative costs. While a few administrative positions may be cut, the great savings over continuing to maintain the Knightsville facility and the ability to place the few administrators into teaching positions would far outweigh the costs of these desires to be able to walk to school.

PEOPLE: Vigo county has had such a property tax shortfall that 3 of their county libraries will be closing in the next month!!! Where do you think money is going to come from to keep these superfluous buildings up and running, never mind all the additional expense we want to put into them? Past boards have wasted money that was much needed for academic programs to spend on pet projects like weight rooms and un needed buildings like Cumberland Academy and Hooks Drug store when we had what we needed already because they were more willing to spend OUR money instead of being good managers and "opposing" their good ole boy buddies. I'm not saying those PROGRAMS aren't needed. Only the buildings where they are housed. Why do we need a alternative high school that only houses 12-15 students at a time when a room or two would do the same thing in another building? Why could not LEEAP center be in same building as central offices at the Eastside location?

While we focus on a few superfluous desires, we have ignored infrastructure at other buildings. Ask about heating/cooling system at Northview, the transportation/maintenance complex, about the weight room that was built TWICE due to favoritism and poor construction contracts, etc etc.

Our school corporation has a long history of throwing good money after bad and not making good fiscal choices that leave less to work with for furthering academic programs. Yes there are different pots from which buildings and staffing/programs come BUT on going maintenance and staffing of superfluous buildings DO affect monies available for more teachers and programs.

Which do you want for our community, more buildings or better education? We have already made so many poor choices. How much more are we willing to give away when every dollar counts in this failing economy?

Time to STOP that big building project and go to an austerity budget prioritizing projects according to definate need base only with only goal to be to provide the best education possible in the safest way possible. Not the closest way, the least contriversal way, or the good ole boy way. Education first and last with safety and efficiency in the middle. WE have already cut advanced placement Chemistry/foreign languages and numerous other subjects to students who want and need them to advance their education,thus lowering our bell curve and competitiveness, why can't we move students from one school to another to make those canceled classes available and make a smaller student/teacher ratio in those lower grades in Elementary schools? It's all about choices. I for one feel the parents who have kids in those 29-30 student classes would rather have them at another building with smaller classes. These are buildings people. It's not like they have souls or anything!!! I just don't understand how we keep spending money we don't have on things we don't need. What a legacy to leave our children. More debt and less education just to keep some brick and mortar. Shame on us.

-- Posted by Jenny Moore on Wed, Feb 18, 2009, at 7:56 AM

Imagine that! Mr Buell providing opposition to something.

-- Posted by Gunslinger on Wed, Feb 18, 2009, at 8:36 AM

Wasn't all of this talked about before and then even furthur with the petition drive?

I am confused why NOW after it is all passed that this is an issue!!!

-- Posted by sassypants on Wed, Feb 18, 2009, at 9:48 AM

sassy: Because our economy has crashed since then making our houses worth less, thus decreasing projected tax revenues etc. Just maybe some of this will cause people to think before they spend and spend only on things that are REALLY needed.

-- Posted by Jenny Moore on Wed, Feb 18, 2009, at 3:23 PM

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