Jasper School Superintendent Says Feasibility Study Results Show “Now Is The Time!”

Jasper (NNDC) – Results of a feasibility study were unveiled Tuesday night during a special public meeting of the Greater Jasper Consolidated School Corporation Board of Directors.

GJCSC Superintendent Dr. Tracy Lorey gave a detailed presentation of the feasibility study to the estimated 40 people who attended the meeting at the Jasper High School Auditorium.

Her presentation included information from both Gibraltar Design of Indianapolis and the Stenftenagel Group of Jasper which addressed facility issues currently facing the school corporation.

These include what to do with older, outdated school buildings as well as what Lorey says is outdated technological infrastructure and failing equipment throughout the district.

The school corporation board is seeking input from the public on how to proceed with replacing the now 58-year old 10th Street School building as well as the 47-year old Fifth Street School building.  The school corporation is also having to address overcrowding at Ireland Elementary School which the school corporation has expanded in recent years.

She says, “now is the time to address these issues.”

One possible solution to the corporation’s building needs is to build a new elementary school to replace both 10th and 5th Street schools on 16 acres of land the school corporation owns just north of Jasper Middle School.  The new school would have a student capacity of 750.

She says Ireland Elementary School will remain, but it too will need to be updated and expanded to meet projected increasing enrollment.

Lorey says, financially, the corporation has recovered some of the lost assessed value in the school district brought on by the 2008-09 recession, and the subsequent loss of tax dollars, to the point it can now address the building and other major needs without having to add to the tax burden of local residents.

She also says the corporation’s current debt service is now at a point that proceeding with the current needs addressed in the feasibility study is a viable option at this time.

Cost estimates range from $24 to 32 million dollars.

Lorey says an online survey will be available to the public in the next week.  She says as many as two more public meetings will be held to gather as much input from the public as possible.  She says the school corporation hopes to have a formal plan of action in place by the end of the calendar year.

Lorey says, “the most important takeaway from all this is we can now (address the corporation’s needs) in a way I think is positive for everyone, especially our students and staff, and most importantly to our taxpayers.”

CLICK BELOW for Dr. Lorey’s presentation to Tuesday’s public meeting at JHS

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