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South Harrison schools make usual loan, get update on Corydon building program

The monthly meeting of the South Harrison Community School trustees on Jan. 10 was brief and to the point.
Supt. Dr. Neyland Clark announced that four bids had been submitted for the school system’s temporary loan. The high bid carried a 4.62-percent interest rate while the low, winning bid was submitted by First Harrison Bank, with interest at 3.47 percent.
According to Carolyn Wallace, South Harrison’s director of business operations, the temporary loan is taken out each year due to cash flow problems between the receipt of revenue from the state.
‘We don’t have a large cash balance,’ said Wallace. ‘We may have, say, $320,000 in our account, with a multi-million dollar budget.
‘South Harrison has been in that situation for years. It’s a process that the state allows us to do.
‘We only have two payments coming in a year, at tax time,’ she added. ‘We have payroll every two weeks.’
This year the loan was for $3.8 million.
Dr. Clark also announced that the school corporation received a check on Dec. 29 from the Harrison County Riverboat Fund for approximately $1.7 million. The funds will be used to reduce the corporation’s debt service fund, which in turn helps lower property taxes of residents in the South Harrison school district.
(Lanesville and North Harrison schools also received checks to be used for debt reduction.)
Discussion centered briefly on the progress of the building program at the Corydon schools.
Corydon Elementary principal Laura McDermott reported that the new kindergarten addition should be ready for use in April and that the new office will be bricked by the end of the month if the weather cooperates, with move-in possibly by mid-May.
Sandy Joseph, Corydon Intermediate School principal, said the students moved into their new addition on Dec. 16.
‘The students actually moved themselves,’ Joseph told the trustees. ‘They literally picked up the chairs and desks, and with the help of a few hard-working parents, we moved, and we did it in less than a half day.
‘I’m really excited about the new building, the teachers are excited, and the students just love it.’
In later interviews, some of the students backed up that sentiment.
‘The new building is really different from what we’re used to,’ said sixth grader Tyler Shewmaker, after a couple of weeks in the new digs. ‘It’s really good to get out of that old building. All the kids are excited about it.
‘Our new classrooms have their own water fountains, and even a sink. And we have these new marker boards instead of chalkboards. Now that’s taking some getting used to.
‘You know, I’ve been using plain old chalkboards since I was in kindergarten,’ Shewmaker said.
Fifth grader Joey Settles said technology has also improved.
‘We have more hi-tech stuff than we had in the old building,’ Settles said. ‘We brought our old computers over here with us, but almost everything else is brand new.
‘This place was really cool when I first saw it. The cafeteria is real shiny. Everything is metal, and it looks real nice. And our classrooms are just a little bit smaller, but they’re really nice too. And I think that this school has a really good educational program. The teachers here care about you … ‘
But until the old building is completely renovated, things will still be a little cramped. They’re still using six classrooms in the old section, and the library is temporarily sharing space with the new, spacious cafeteria.
‘When everything’s done, and we’re in our permanent space, the library will triple in size,’ said librarian Shannon LeClair, in an interview Friday. ‘We’ll have more books and services, we’ll have a real nice story corner and even a parent’s resource room.
‘Right now, we’re a little short on space, but the kids don’t mind,’ she said. ‘They’ve been really great about all the changes.’