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Buildings to be renovated over spring break

By Elisabeth Dodd, Staff Writer

The Union County College Corner Joint School District school board heard plans for renovations in school buildings over spring break during its Monday, March 11 meeting.

Public Service Company of Indiana gave a performance update. The company started the LED lighting earlier in the school year to take advantage of a substantial rebate of $139,000. The project is 99.9 percent finished with only a few small bulbs to be done at the middle school in the next week.

They are using spring break as an opportunity to get to the buildings and make renovations while there are no students as they are conscientious of not disrupting learning with construction. Water heaters will be replaced at the high school and middle school, but was already taken care of at the elementary school because the school’s heater failed earlier than at the other buildings. Instead, PSI will work on the stairwells and bathrooms in the elementary school.

In other construction news, the main gymnasium is due to be re-sanded and refinished, as is done every 10 years. However, Superintendent Chris Winchell brought up that the floor may be past its life in which case it would not be wise to re-sand and paint. Instead, it may be wiser to save money over the next few summers. Winchell is seeking a third opinion as he already has one opinion on each side from professionals. Prices for this project are up in the air depending on what exactly the school corporation wants done, but prices range from $75,000-$150,000. However, Winchell reminded the board the option to bond again and fund a big project such as this will reopen in 2020.

The school board received positive feedback for the E-learning trial run on February 18. Out of a survey with 200 responses, 85 percent of parents wanted to do it again. However, Winchell still wants to approach E-learning days as a preplanned day, rather than a spur-of-the-moment snow day alternate because there is still concern over students with connectivity issues. Families rated their online access on a scale of one to five; and 75 percent said access was a positive four or five,15 percent rated it at three and roughly 10 percent struggles with computer access. April 19 was approved as the next E-learning day.

Last meeting, Winchell discussed concerns that the corporation was receiving funds for the students who are Ohio residents and educated as Indiana students as an oversight. Since November, they have been getting paid for all 12,095 kids instead of the 11,085 Indiana students. However, after talking to the Indiana Department of Education, he has a response in writing that the corporation is not being overfunded. They are being treated as Indiana students because they are being tested as Indiana students.

Finally, the school board accepted $3,364 in donations from the schools and congratulated Choir Director Debbie Allbright on an excellent school production of “Into the Woods.”

“It's amazing what our students did through the help of Mrs. Albright,” said President Mary Eversole.