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NHES building project draws no objections

Four people spoke at Thursday night’s 1028 Hearing regarding the North Harrison Elementary School addition and renovation. None of them were opposed to the project, which has been discussed publicly for more than a year.
School librarian Mary Elizabeth Miller asked when a drawing that would show the outside of the building would be available. She said she was hoping the finished structure, in addition to resolving the health concerns that have surrounded the current building and easing the overcrowded conditions, would also be ‘aesthetically pleasing.’
Jerry Firestone, director of educational planning for RQAW Consulting Engineers and Architects, said a drawing may be ready as early as next month’s North Harrison Community School Corp. board of trustees’ meeting, which will be Thursday, July 13, at 7:30 p.m. He said it’s RQAW’s intentions to match the new brick as closely as possible with the existing brick.
In response to Miller’s concern about children’s safety during construction, especially the second-story addition, Mark Shireman of James L. Shireman Inc. in Corydon reassured her that if the existing structure ‘can support that much weight’ from the dirt that is on the berm building now, ‘it’s not going to fall in on you.’
The project, which includes converting the classroom ‘pods’ into more traditional rooms, is projected to cost $12 million. Damien Maggos, of City Securities, said payments can’t start until the building is occupied, which could be as early as August 2008. The cost is based on a six-percent interest rate, so the final impact on property taxes could be less, Maggos said, as the current rate is 4-3/4 percent.
‘It’s always easier to decrease than to come back and ask for an increase,’ he said.
The project could be delayed if a remonstrance is filed within the next 30 days, from today (Wednesday).
Supt. Monty Schneider, in thanking the community for its patience, said, ‘There’ll be some headaches (during the project), we know.’
In personnel matters Thursday night, the board approved the hiring of Lisa Jones as the next principal at NHES. Jones, a 1983 graduate of North Harrison High School, succeeds Sheryl Burns who announced her retirement in April.
Many, if not all, of the NHES teachers in attendance, stood and clapped when the announcement was made.
Jones expressed her appreciation to the board and staff for their support. ‘We’re going to hit the ground running,’ she said.
School trustee Buddy Bosler thanked the group of parents and teachers who helped determine the four candidates who were interviewed for the position. ‘We picked who we thought would do the best job,’ Bosler said of the board’s unanimous decision to hire Jones.
Outgoing board member Kathy Mott Goldman was given a plaque for her eight years of service as a school trustee. Goldman lost her at-large seat in last month’s Primary Election to Gary Byrne.
‘One thing that will be missing from this board is a mother’s touch,’ said Chinn, who thanked Goldman for ‘giving direction’ to him and the other three school trustees, who are also men.
Goldman’s ‘made major contributions’ during her two terms on the school board, added Naegele.
Several other people in attendance took a moment to express their gratitude to Goldman, including Harvey Trowbridge, director of technology. He said, ‘I think you’ve had some very good ideas’ during her eight years as trustee.
Schneider said Goldman ‘has been somebody we could lean on,’ and although the two of them didn’t always agree on everything, they could communicate.
Goldman said she ‘has been very fortunate to make a lot of friends’ while serving on the board, and she wished the same for Byrne.
In other matters last week, the trustees:
* Awarded several bids for items for the 2006-07 school year, as recommended by assistant superintendent Ken Oppel. They were: fuel oil ‘ Jackson-Jennings Oil, $2.494 (firm); unleaded gas ‘ Jackson-Jennings Oil, $2.354 (includes escalator clause); diesel fuel ‘ Harrison County Oil, $2.395; bread and related items ‘ Sara Lee (firm); milk, orange drink and fruit juice ‘ Prairie Farm Dairy (firm).
‘I’m really pleased we got a firm price on fuel oil,’ Oppel said. ‘We all know how the price of unleaded gas has escalated.’
While the fuel bids were 49 cents to 63 cents higher than the bids awarded for the 2005-06 school year, bread-related items remained the same or were slightly lower, and milk prices were one cent cheaper. Oppel said they may have to address lunch prices in July, ‘after we see what some of our non-bid prices are.’
* Agreed to accept the following donations: $757 from Wal-Mart to Morgan Elementary for the Destination Imagination teams; $1,500 from the Harrison County Community Foundation for the fifth grade DI team; $1,500 from the Harrison County Community Foundation for the fourth grade DI team; $665 from the Local Coordinating Council Drug Free Grant to North Harrison SADD; and $500 from Furthering Youth Inc. to North Harrison SADD. None of the grants required any matching funds.
* Heard from Morgan Elementary Principal Lance Richards about the two DI teams’ trip to World in Knoxville, Tenn. The fifth-grade team (Dalton Fessel, Caleb Hamby, Melanie Johnson, Brooke Lamon, Jessica Richards, Jessica Robson and Austin Wheatley and team manager Kathy Crimans) placed 24th out of 54 teams, he said, while the fourth-grade team (Kelsey Chinn, Joe Hinton, Sierra Hursey, Brianna Jacobi, Keith Jones, Kendra Lambert and Tyler Ley and team manager Lynn Wagoner) placed 18th out of 74 teams. The fourth graders also were a Top-10 team in the instant challenge portion. Richards, who has been named Elementary School Principal of the Year for District XII by the Indiana Association of School Principals, said more than 900 teams from around the world competed.
* Gave Oppel permission to declare four school buses as surplus property and advertise for their sale. Two of the buses are still in use, while the other two have been used as spares.
* Accepted resignations from Harvey Trowbridge, effective June 30, 2007, as director of technology; Linda Bailey, effective the end of the 2006-07 school year, as a Spanish and English teacher; Doni Ann McAfee as boys middle school tennis coach; and Vickie Fessel and Pat Boggs as Renaissance sponsors at North Harrison High School.
* In addition to the appointment of Jones as NHES principal, approved the appointment of Bart Bigham as boys tennis coach.
* Approved an unpaid leave of absence for Debbie Sieveking as English teacher at NHMS for the 2006-07 school year.
* Approved summer school instructors, bus drivers and administrators.
Richards announced after the meeting that Morgan and North Harrison elementary schools will hold open houses and a time to meet the teachers, at 7 p.m. on Aug. 8.