School board passes resolutions to move construction forward

The Huntington County Community School Corporation Board of School Trustees approved a trio of resolutions at its regular meeting on Monday, Feb. 26, setting in place the legalities needed to move construction forward on the Roanoke Elementary School building and Huntington North High School.

The board voted 6-0 to approve a resolution officially determining the need for the project, which includes the construction of a new elementary school, the potential purchase of real estate and the renovation of and improvements to the Huntington North High School campus, including site improvements.

It also acknowledges the need to lease all or a portion of the projects from the Huntington Countywide School Building Corporation.

The board unanimously approved a second resolution, which approves the form of lease agreement on the project.

Superintendent Randy Harris explained that the school corporation is funding the project through a lease financing, used by school corporations across Indiana in order to borrow for renovation or construction.

“This type of financing does not count against the school corporation’s constitutional debt allowance,” Harris said. “The building corporation will purchase the real estate for the new Roanoke Elementary Sch-ool and a portion of Huntington North High School at the closing for at least their appraised value. The building corporation will then lease the real estate back to the school corporation.”

The lease rental due from the school corporation will be paid from property taxes, Harris added.

The third resolution reapproves the Building Corporation, which is a separate not-for-profit corporation from the school corporation, which can issue tax-exempt bonds on behalf of the school corporation, Harris said. That resolution was also approved 6-0, with Board Member Reed Christiansen absent from the meeting.

Having approved the resolutions, the board moved on to unanimously accept quotes from construction firms to do work on the list of items needing work. The quotes include:

• Building Temperature Solutions, to replace condensing unit, evaporator coil and refrigerant lines at Horace Mann.

• Strahm, to do stucco repair and painting at Crestview Middle School.

• Everything Flooring, for carpet replacement at Andrews Elementary and Crestview.

• Chris Hasty, for sealcoating the HCCSC parking lots.

• McGuff, for roofing repairs on the HNHS cafeteria and science roof.

Harris said the quotes on the projects came out to nearly the same amount as estimates given at previous board meetings, amounting to around $400,000.

In a redistricting update presented to the board, Harris said letters have been sent to parents regarding transfer requests for the 2018-19 year.

In addition, he said work on teacher assignments for the next school year will begin in the next week, to reassign teachers from schools that are closing to other HCCSC buildings. He anticipates the assignments to be made by spring break.

In another matter, the board approved the 2019-2020 school calendar by a 5-1 vote. Board member Brian Warpup voted against the adoption, saying he was concerned that the stretch from Christmas break to spring break was too long at 12 weeks and may cause student and/or teacher burnout.

“That gap is a little wider than I would like to see,” he said.

The calendar sets spring break from Monday, April 6, 2020, through Friday, April 10, 2020, with snow days built into the week before.

The creation of a new mechanic position at the transportation garage was also approved. The garage would then have three mechanics to handle the work, which is causing a lot of overtime currently, Harris said.

The next meeting of the HCCSC School Board is set for Monday, March 12. However, with this year’s spring break dates, the meeting after that will not occur until Monday, April 9.