|SGCS: Construction set to begin|
|Thursday, 07 June 2012 11:11|
by Katie Wagner
The Smith-Green Community Schools Board of School Trustees held a public work session prior to Monday evening’s regular meeting to discuss progress regarding the $6 million building projects plan. Jim Elizondo of City Securities Corporation gave an update regarding the sale of bonds and Greg Wehling of Moake Park outlined updated building plans. After submitting preliminary plans to SGCS staff and gathering input from them, Wehling presented the plan to the School Board for approval. Construction is set to begin on August 21, 2012, the third day of the 2012-13 school year, and will continue through the summer of 2013. Projects will be completed in phases and Wehling said disruption to students will be kept at a minimum. Wehling said that the construction plan can specify that workers complete most of the projects during off hours and prohibit workers from completing noisy demolition work during the school day.
A major change to the original building plan is the relocation of the proposed addition of five classrooms. The original plan proposed building the classrooms on the outside of the current fourth and fifth grade hallway, however, those classrooms would lose the large window toward the playground. With the new plan, the classrooms will be added to the south of the building off of the current music and science classrooms. The classrooms must be added because the proposed elementary cafeteria will displace three classrooms. Superintendent Steve Darnell described the new plan as “more economical.” The construction of the additional classrooms and the addition of the elementary cafeteria should be completed by spring break.
Other major projects include security entrances at both the elementary and high school, with the addition of offices at the high school entrance. In addition, the high school locker rooms and several elementary restrooms will be renovated and the HVAC system will be replaced in various parts of the building.
In other Board news:
The Board accepted resignations from Jeremy Willson as the head boys junior high track coach for CJSHS effective at the end of the 2011-12 season and from Matthew Turner as a third shift custodian. The Board approved new hires, including Marilyn Norris as a full-time paraprofessional of intensive needs at the Jr-Sr high level for the 2012-13 school year. Norris has previously worked as a paraprofessional at the elementary level. The Board also approved Erica Kennedy as a temporary sixth grade English teacher to fulfill April Macdonald’s maternity leave. The Board also approved extending CJSHS Assistant Principal Andrew Deming’s contract by ten days for the 2011-12 school year to fulfill administrative duties required within the building.
SGCS librarians/media specialists Ben Moore and Julie Mast gave an annual report regarding the CJSHS and CES libraries. Mast mentioned several highlights for the year, including genre lunches, the addition of Tina Anderson as a library aide, a visit from local author Kewiki, earning around $2500 from the Scholastic Book Fair and orders and the fact that fifth grade students designed the yearbook on their own.
Moore, who also taught four periods of French each day, said that he was disappointed in data from the year. Moore said circulation was down from the annual average of 12,912 for the previous four years to just over 5,500. Moore attributed the drop in circulation in the junior high to the elimination of the daily reading class. In addition, the number of classes working in the library decreased from 934 visits during the 2010-11 school year to 371 classes during the 2011-12 school year because of the use of netbooks in the classrooms. Moore said he is unable to educate students regarding proper research methods when they do not visit the library. Moore said he has been brainstorming ideas to improve library usage and student instruction for next school year.
In compliance with a notice sent from the Indiana State Department of Education and Nutrition, based on a federally mandated requirement for meal prices, SGCS Food Services Director Pam Hill reluctantly recommended that the Board approve a $0.05 increase in the cost of lunches for Jr.-Sr. High School students for the 2012-13 school year. Lunches will increase from $2.00 to $2.05. Hill said she would not raise the price of elementary lunches, which are currently $1.85, because she currently has a difficult time collecting funds from elementary parents and a price increase would add to the deficit.
SGCS Business Manager Todd Fleetwood presented a cost savings plan to bring the general fund back into balance. “SGCS is fortunate to have a cash balance that allows us to carry out a multi-year reduction plan,” Fleetwood said. “The cost savings amount for each item is based on estimates and full savings from this plan will not be realized until calendar year 2013.” The plan is reflective of building supervisors and staff input. The district will see a partial savings of $127,277 for 2012 and a reduction amount of $377,415 by 2013.
The Board accepted a $100 donation from the Town of Churubusco for the completion of the mural downtown and a $500 donation from the Churubusco Rotary Club for the Destination ImagiNation program.
The next regular scheduled Board meeting will be Monday, June 18 at 7 p.m. in the Board Room of the Administrative Building.
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