Schools

CCSC to build admin center

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A new administration center is taking shape for the Crawfordsville Community School Corporation.

On Thursday, the school board unanimously voted 5-0 on several measures to kick start the estimated $4 million project.

Assistant Superintendent Rex Ryker explained the current facility at 1000 Fairview Ave. is only 3,500 square feet and does not provide adequate meeting, professional development or event space and requires significant upgrades.

If the site were to continue housing administrators and staff, upgrades would need to include sewer, water, electricity and a new roof and walls.

“Basically we’d be keeping the steel frame of a manufactured building,” he said.

The site of the proposed new administration center will be on the south side of the athletic parking lot at Crawfordsville High School. Ryker said the site is the best option because it would use ground that is already surveyed, has utility access and a parking lot — all of which would offer significant cost-savings. The proposed facility would be a two-story building measuring 8,000 to 9,000 square feet.

Superintendent Dr. Scott Bowling said the gross tax impact on the corporation’s debt service fund would be .4213 cents on every $100 of assessed value. He explained how the corporation’s debt is layered and that some debts will fall off in 2025 and 2026.

“So that 42 cents, that’s not in the first year,” he said. “It would be more like 10 cents. Debt falls off in 2025 and 2026, which makes the total levy drop in the community even with this project. So you are only looking at a tax increase in calendar year 2023 and 2024 and that tax increase is around 10 cents per $100 of AV.”

Bowling added the funding mechanism for this project will be a lease rental agreement through a building corporation, and this is the same type of agreement used for the high school and middle school projects as well as the renovations to the elementary buildings in the 1990s.

As part of the project, the current administration building on Fairview Avenue would receive a new roof and minor renovations so that the building could serve the corporation’s maintenance department.

“This is a much needed, long overdue project,” said board president Steve McLaughlin. “We’ve taken care of all of our other buildings and this is just the last piece of making sure that we have the best for our corporation.”

He added that other options and locations in town were considered, but school officials believe this building project at CHS seems to be the best option.

In personnel matters, the board accepted the resignations of the following: Jessica Ryker, CMS assistant; Dave Cutchan, CHS math teacher; McKinzie Welcher, CHS assistant; Leslie Peacock, director of student services at Nicholson; Taylor Malayer, CHS English teacher; Denise Virgin, teacher’s assistant at Hoover; Ali (Wagner) Bittinger, administrative assistant at Hose; and Alexandra Roth, speech language pathologist (SLP) at Willson.

The board approved the hiring of the following: Katharyn Sabens, ELA teacher at CMS; Kathy Kern, music teacher at Hose; Abigail Everling, CMS assistant at CMS; Jennifer Sims, CHS language arts teacher; Addison Conrad, special education assistant at Nicholson; Mackenzi Landrum (Cannici), PE teacher at Hose; Zoe Baker, assistant at Hoover; Craig Carrell, assistant at CHS; Nicole Kyger, temporary ELA teacher for two maternity leaves at CMS; Kylie McFarland, CMS assistant; Julie Randles, CMS assistant; Amber Reed, director of food service and student wellness; Sarah Sieferman, CHS assistant; Grace Vaught, occupational therapy assistant at WCISSC; Jaala Springer, Willson aide; Ariadna Eufrasio, ENL assistant at CHS; Megan Wilson, Willson administrative assistant; Lindsey Joern, school psychologist at WCISSC; Carol Starlin, literacy coach at Nicholson; Mary Scheidler, counselor at Nicholson; and Cole Wemer, CHS assistant.

The board also learned of the change in positions for the following: Heidi Plunkett from special education teacher at CHS to preschool director at Willson; Paqxtonne Muncie from Hose assistant to first grade  teacher at Hose; Morgan Thompson from third grade teacher at Nicholson to Reading Interventionist at Hose; Heather Rock from Willson administrative assistant to administrative assistant at Hose; Katherine Lueking from part-time nurse at Willson to full-time nurse at Hoover; Morgan Hodge (Howard) from first grade teacher at Hose to third grade teacher at Nicholson; Diana Shelton from part-time math tutor to CHS math teacher; Morgan Howard from first grade teacher at Hose to third grade teacher at Nicholson; and Angela Risner from CMS aide to CHS assistant.

In other business, the board:

• Learned a committee studying the organization of the corporation’s elementary schools has continued to meet and has narrowed its focus on possibly creating two primary and one intermediate elementary building to serve students. Ryker said the committee is leaning toward placing kindergarten through third grade students in two separate buildings — one on the city’s east side and the other on the city’s west side with U.S. 231 as a boundary. Ryker said the goal is to reduce transitions, which can be difficult for many students. Input from teachers and parents will be sought next month.

• Approved a request for the CMS eighth grade field trip to Springfield, Illinois, on Oct. 13.

• Approved a request from the CHS Dance Team to travel Feb. 9-12, 2023, to Orlando, Florida, to compete in a national dance competition.

• Approved changes to the lunch and meal account policy, which includes providing monthly communication regarding student and staff balances and raising the debt limit from $25 to $40.

• Gave school administrators permission to join the class action litigation against Juul Labs, the maker of the leading vaping device. Administrators indicated vaping use among students is a real problem locally and nationwide. Juul’s device is attractive, easy to hide and addictive. There is no fee for the corporation.

• Learned student population numbers seem steady. Bowling said the corporation population is about 2,370 students. The official count takes place in September.

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