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N. Harrison trustees delay decision on elementary school

Despite cold temperatures and falling snow, the five North Harrison Community School Corporation trustees were in the hot seat Thursday.
‘But, I don’t think you know how hot it is,’ said Robert Jones, as he took the school board to task for postponing any decision about the North Harrison Elementary School building.
The trustees opted not to make a decision at their regular meeting Thursday night partly because of low public attendance and also due to lack of overwhelming support for any of four options.
Those options include:
‘ Updating the HVAC system while possibly remodeling the existing classrooms and adding a computer lab, and removing dirt from the structure and putting on a conventional roof;
‘ Updating the HVAC, removing dirt and adding a second story of classrooms, as well as remodeling the existing classrooms;
‘ Saving the gymnasium and cafeteria, demolishing the classrooms and building new ones; and
‘ Demolishing the entire facility and building a new one.
Trustee Ron Coleman made the motion to table any decision after Kathy Goldman said she thought it would be difficult to get a second on any motion for action.
Goldman also said she wanted Jerry Firestone, director of educational planning for architectural firm RQAW in Indianapolis, to check on the possibility of using a gas that could be pumped into the school to eliminate mold spores. She said something similar might be used in hurricane-stricken areas.
The motion to table a decision passed 5-0.
‘I don’t think you’re paying enough attention to (Firestone),’ Jones said, asking if the school trustees were just looking at ‘dollars and cents’ or taking into consideration health issues teachers and parents have expressed.
Attendance was lower at Thursday night’s meeting than at the past several board meetings that have had discussion about the elementary school. A snow storm passed through the county earlier in the day, causing schools to be dismissed early and canceling classes Friday.
Firestone told the North Harrison school board members that they had already missed out on taking advantage of doing any work in the summer of 2006 ‘while the kids are out of the building.’
‘That’s a concern,’ he said. ‘Construction costs continue to go up.’
In other matters last week, the trustees:
‘ Authorized the school corporation treasurer to make transfers in the budget between categories to avoid negative balances in any account at the end of the fiscal year. Schneider said this is a normal December procedure.
‘ Approved accepting a $500 donation from McDonald’s Corp. for North Harrison Middle School. Teacher Ron Snyder, who applied for the grant, said the money will be used to purchase frogs for science class.
‘ Agreed to meet briefly on Dec. 12 regarding purchasing new school buses. Bids were to be opened that morning, and that would be the only item for action.
‘ Accepted Matthew Jolley’s resignation as girls’ soccer coach at NHHS. Schneider said they hope to have a new coach hired by spring so players can be recruited and arrangements made for players to attend summer camp.
‘ Approved the appointment of April DeWeese on a temporary contract as a fourth-grade teacher at NHES.

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