The Post & Mail
November 21, 2007:
|By CHRIS MEYERS
Barring any unforeseen major problems, the Whitley County Consolidated
Schools Board of School Trustees voted 8-1 Tuesday night to select the
Indian Springs Middle School site for the possible new high school.
Board member Tim Bloom made the initial suggestion to have the school
built at the ISMS site, saying the school corporation would be able to
use land and utilities already owned by WCCS.
“We can take advantage of 60 acres we own and that is under utilized,”
The efficiency of having deliveries to all schools made at one central
location and the ability to share resources among the schools at the
site were also reasons Bloom felt the ISMS site was the best choice.
Staying close to Columbia City also weighed on his decision.
“I think a school is an important part of the community,” and the school
should stay close to the community, he said.
Board member Bob Thomas said he agreed with Bloom and the reasons listed
for choosing the site.
Fellow board member Deb Hiss also agreed with the ISMS site, saying a
completely new location would be ideal, but felt it would be tough to
justify to the public why new land needed to be purchased.
Board president Don Armstrong also favored the ISMS site.
“There’s probably no such thing as a perfect site,” he said, but added
that the ISMS site seemed to be best location.
Board member Jill Western also agreed with the site, saying she
supported the campus atmosphere because of the chance to save money and
the potential for better learning.
Board member Brooks Langeloh was the only member to voice dissent about
ISMS saying he had concerns about traffic flows and that the site would
be landlocked by highways if further expansion was needed.
“I’ve gotta go with my gut on this one. My gut tells me that’s not the
best place for it,” he said.
In other business regarding the ongoing high school project, Anne
Rainey, assistant director of technology, showed a Web site to be
published online today regarding the high school project.
Included in the Web site are preliminary site plans at the ISMS site and
feedback regarding the plan from staff, students and community e-mails.
“We hope to give some sort of time line as to what’s happened since we
started on this project about five or six years ago,” she said.
Also on the Web site are estimated construction costs, debt payment and
possible affects on tax rates from the project.
A disclaimer on the site says WCCS has the authority to not post all
e-mails from community members regarding the project.
Armstrong said the disclaimer did not mean WCCS would censor e-mails
that are pro or con for the project, but rather to keep the discussions
civil without name calling or other inappropriate and derogatory
Superintendent Laura Huffman said today the Web site will continue to
change as the board receives more information about the project and the
continued study of the ISMS site.
She encouraged residents to go to the site and give feedback about the
high school project.