By Rob Cox Daily News
Greensburg Daily News
---- — GREENSBURG — The Decatur County Community Schools (DCCS) Board plans to have new field houses fully constructed and in use at both North and South Decatur High Schools by the end of 2014.
According to DCCS superintendent Johnny Budd, each project will be budgeted for a maximum of $2 million.
At the board’s regular meeting Wednesday night, Budd reported that, “The project will not exceed $2 million.”
Both facilities will be identical and will include two basketball courts, a weight room, sets of roll-out bleachers and a lobby area connecting each facility to existing gymnasiums at both schools. Budd had hoped to include a stage with both facilities, but stepped back slightly from those plans Wednesday night when asked by a board member if he still intends to include them.
We’ll try to stretch that $2 million to get everything we possibly can for it, Budd told the board, but I can’t guarantee, at this point, that stages will be economically viable. Still, Budd promised that the possibility of including theatres at both facilities wasn’t completely off the table, and that the idea will be revisited as the project moves forward.
Budd also touted the benefits of adding a weight room to each facility, explaining that the move would make significant amounts of space available at each school.
Architect George Link of VPS Architecture, Evansville, presented a preliminary timeline for the parallel construction projects, telling the board he’ll have a formal architectural plan ready for the board’s March 12 meeting. At the April 9 board meeting, Link plans to initiate bidding, with bid winners announced at the end of May. Construction is planned to begin in June, with gym floors ready to use sometime in November and locker rooms shortly thereafter. The entire project will be completed by the end of December.
The board approved those plans and formally named Link project architect.
Budd also announced Capital Funds Projects for the upcoming summer, which will include replacing all the original windows at NDHS and SDHS. The superintendent stressed that the project, which will cost $100,000, will include only windows from the original buildings and not additional wings added in 1992 or science facilities added in 2012.
Classroom doors and related hardware will also be replaced at the two schools as part of summer capital funds projects, with the total cost coming in at $85,000. Only half the tab for the doors project, however, will come from the capital funds budget. The other half will come from the school safety grants the corporation was awarded last year for hiring a school safety officer. Money for replacing classroom doors, Budd explained, was written into the original application for those grants.
Additionally, the entryways by the cafeteria at each school will also be replaced, adding another $15,000 in expenses taken from the capital funds budget.
SDHS will build a softball field during the summer for its girls’ softball team. That project will bring DCCS into compliance with the 1972 Title IX US Education Amendment, which prohibits gender-based discrimination in school sports activities.
Also on Wednesday night, North Decatur Elementary School principal Rob Smith reported that the school’s recent student iPad roll out went extremely well, with only two students currently without a device. “We’re working with those parents right now,” Smith said. Smith also announced that 250 people are signed up to attend the school’s Family Science Night on Friday.
NDHS principal Gary Cook reported on a new economics “investment club” to be offered at his school that will teach students about investing in the stock market. The school will also hold a public blood-donation drive from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m., Feb. 26, at the school.
After the meeting, Cook told the Daily News that the Indiana Blood Bank will contribute scholarship money to the school based on the total units of blood donated through the drive. As such, Cook encouraged anyone with a past, current or future NDHS student, or anyone with an interest in enhancing community education to participate in the initiative.
For more information on the NDHS blood drive, call the school at 663-4204.
The next regular meeting of the DCCS Board will be at 6 p.m., March 12, at the District Administration Building.
Contact: Rob Cox 812-663-3111 x7011; firstname.lastname@example.org